Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, entering the final year of his current contract, is expected to be a central focus of new Head Coach Zac Taylor’s offense, coming off a season that started well but ended prematurely due to a toe injury.
The injury cost him his first absence from the Pro Bowl of his career since he was selected fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he has had his season cut short in two of the past three years. And just earlier today, he went down in practice with an injury scare, though the team is hopeful that it could be minor.
Green pounded the ground after going down with a lower body injury and reportedly “threw everything he could throw”, according to team beat writer Geoff Hobson. He left the field on crutches and then was carted off the field, though that’s far from abnormal in training camp.
— Sam Greene (@SGdoesit) July 27, 2019
AJ was helped off of the field at Bengals practice pic.twitter.com/qpH8NWQGAn
— Rob Lhamon (@rlhamon) July 27, 2019
The veteran wide receiver already entered training camp still in the final stages of working his way back from last season’s toe injury, which ultimately required offseason surgery. He attempted to play through it during the year, only to reinjure it. His new injury is not on the same side of his body.
After practice, Taylor was obviously asked about Green. “You don’t want to assume anything”, he said, “but I think we’re going to be okay”. He added that they will obviously take the abundance of caution approach with the wide receiver from here on out, so don’t expect to see much of him in training camp as the Bengals install their new offense.
Zac Taylor on A.J. Green going down with what looked like a left foot or ankle injury. – “you don’t want to assume anything, but I think we’re going to be ok.” Said they will check him out obviously and see.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) July 27, 2019
Ian Rapoport is reporting that “initial diagnosis” is indicating that the ninth-year veteran suffered a sprained ankle and that the team is hopeful, as indicated by Taylor’s remarks, but that further evidence in the form of an MRI will be necessary before they can fully determine the nature of the injury.
Based on the initial diagnosis, #Bengals WR AJ Green is believed to have suffered a sprained ankle, I’m told. They are hopeful, but he’s going to get an MRI to be sure. If that’s the case, expect serious caution throughout the preseason from Green and the team.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2019
Meanwhile, the Bengals’ number three receiver, John Ross, was not on the field today at all, according to reports, in terms of participation. He had no helmet on. He did not even participate in the stretches prior to practice.
This is Cincinnati’s first practice, and they are already down two of their top receivers, Green with an apparent lower body injury that is yet to be fully determined, and Ross with an undisclosed issue. For the moment, fourth-year Tyler Boyd, fresh off a new contract extension paying him over $10 million per season, is the leader of the pack.
On the bright side, at least Tyler Eifert has been able to participate, working in individual drills for the Bengals earlier today. There seems to be an expectation that he will be able to graduate to team drills soon. Cincinnati signed C.J. Uzomah to a new three-year contract this offseason, and also used a second-round pick on tight end Drew Sample.