Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green will be forced out of action for a few weeks with a foot injury, but, thankfully, it sounds like he won’t have to undergo surgery.
A.J. Green has been one of the NFL’s most consistent players since the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in 2011 as the fourth overall pick. He’s already racked up six seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards, and he only fell short of the mark in 2016 when an injury forced him to appear in 10 games. That year, Green averaged a career-high 96.4 receiving yards per game.
On pace for well over 1,000 yards in 2018 with an average of 85.9 receiving yards per game, Green could be forced to a miss a few weeks with a toe injury. Green suffered the injury in Week 8 when he helped the Bengals defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, turning just 7 targets into 5 receptions for 76 yards with his 6th touchdown catch of the season thrown in for good measure.
According to ESPN.com’s Katherine Terrell, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters that Green will not require surgery “this year”, but he was unable (or unwilling) to specify a timetable for return.
Green, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, was always expected to miss “some games” with this toe injury, but it’s reassuring to hear that foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson apparently informed the wideout that he won’t have to undergo surgery this year. That does indicate, however, Green could have the procedure done in the offseason after presumably helping the Bengals make a playoff push down the stretch this year.
The Bengals will face the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns over the next three weeks, with the Saints and Ravens being stiff challenges and the Browns constituting an important divisional game where a win would be necessary.
Without Green, 2018 standout Tyler Boyd will operate as the Bengals No. 1 target, John Ross will hope to make some noise with his devastating speed, and tight end C.J. Uzomah could become a bigger player in this offense after flashing when given a chance.
Although he is Cincinnati’s best player on offense and the most consistent option for Andy Dalton in the red zone, the Bengals have enough bodies around their quarterback to make do for a few weeks.
At 5-3, the Bengals are in the thick of the playoff race and are just barely behind the 5-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers in the competitive AFC North. Knowing that Green should be back in the later weeks will give the Bengals a boost of confidence over these next few games, so this injury update should absolutely be seen as positive news.