Report: AJ Green Won't Return for Bengals vs. Browns Due to Toe Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2018

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green practices before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Frank Victores/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green will reportedly miss Sunday's Week 12 game against the Cleveland Browns while continuing his recovery from a toe injury.

Josina Anderson of ESPN reported the update Saturday and provided further details about the wideout's comeback efforts:

ig: josinaanderson @JosinaAnderson

My understanding is Green did test the toe today and that it feels much better now compared to earlier in the week, just not quite over the hump. His initial "questionable" status let you know there was hope this could be the week. Almost there, just not quite. https://t.co/CjbqjgZH9T

The seven-time Pro Bowler has hauled in 1,000-plus receiving yards in six of his first seven years in the league. The only time he didn't reach that plateau, 2016, he had 964 yards in 10 games after missing the end of the season due to a hamstring injury.

He was well on his way to another 1,000-yard season in 2018, recording 45 catches for 687 yards and six touchdowns through his first eight games. However, the toe injury has caused him to miss the last two games and will reportedly cost him at least one more.

Green's value to the Cincinnati offense was glaringly apparent when he missed the first two games in November. After going 5-3 with the star during the first half of the season, the Bengals were 0-2 with him sidelined.

The team averaged just 17.5 points in the two games, with quarterback Andy Dalton completing just 55.4 percent of his passes while throwing for just 182 yards per game. Not only that, but he had just three touchdowns and two interceptions in those two contests.

Third-year wideout Tyler Boyd (56 catches for 756 yards and five touchdowns) has come on strong this season. However, the rest of the Bengals pass-catchers have yet to consistently make an impact, especially with Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert being lost for the season in Week 4.

The team's ninth overall pick in 2017, John Ross, is still looking to find his role in the offense. And when Green is sidelined, Alex Erickson, Cody Core and Auden Tate all see an increase in action—but none of them are capable of changing a game the way Green can.