Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson returned to practice Wednesday after spending five days in Texas jail to settle his misdemeanor assault case.
The sentence was for 20 days, but Benson was released early from jail on Saturday because he volunteered to work and he also received time served. But the time he spent locked up mopping floors and working on the paint crew gave the Bengals leading back time to reflect.
“You think about a lot of things in life, about the things you need to make changes to not only protect yourself, but to keep yourself out of danger,” Benson said to reporters Wednesday after practice. “I was eager to get back to it.”
“I thought a lot about football. I thought a lot about this week and was eager to get back and get started.”
This puts an end to a difficult situation for both the Bengals and Benson. Benson was arrested this summer for punching a friend in Austin. In 2010 he was arrested for punching a bar employee.
Benson pleaded no contest and was ordered to do jail time. Originally he chose to serve his jail term during the Bengals’ bye week in October, but then was persuaded to get it over with as quick as possible.
Now Benson can focus on being ready for Sunday’s season opener against Cleveland without the cloud of going to jail hanging over his head.
“It's best for him and for the football team to put everything behind you as quick as possible,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. "Tie up loose ends and put it behind you as quick as you can. I think that's important.”
The report has information obtained from the Associated Press.
(Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)