With less than one hour to go until the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals kicks off it sounds like the visiting team plans to take away the home team’s top wide receiver by having their own top cornerback follow him around throughout the contest.
of ESPN, the plan for the Steelers on Sunday is to have cornerback Joe Haden shadow Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green most of Sunday afternoon.
Last week, Haden shadowed Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones for most of Sunday;’s game and that resulted in him having zero receptions through the first three quarters of the contest. While Jones did ultimately end the game with 5 receptions for 62 yards, the game had already pretty much been decided by the time he registered his first of the 5.
Haden has a long history of successfully covering Greene going back to his pre Pittsburgh career with the Cleveland Browns. Last season, however, Haden’s first with the Steelers, he did not shadow Green in the first of two meetings between the two teams as he stayed on the left side of the defense. Even so, Green only caught 3 passes for 41 yards in that Steelers home win.
Haden only played one game against the Bengals last season as he missed the week 13 game with an injured fibula. Green, by the way, caught 7 passes for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns in that game that was played in Cincinnati.
It’s worth pointing out again that the Bengals will be without the services of wide receiver John Ross and Tyler Kroft on Sunday against the Steelers because of injuries.
Green enters Sunday’s game against the Steelers with 26 receptions on the season for 409 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Bengals have moved him around in formations quite a bit this season and that means a lot of snaps for him in the slot as well.