Bengals' A.J. Green Reportedly Out Indefinitely After Ankle Injury Setback

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2019

Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver A. J. Green, 18, who is recovering from an injury, attends an NFL practice session at the Allianz Park stadium in north London, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing for an NFL regular season game against the Los Angeles Rams in London on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green was expected to make his 2019 debut this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, but he does not expect to play on Sunday after he recently suffered a setback relating to his lingering ankle injury. 

"Probably not," Green said Thursday when asked if he would suit up in Week 10, per Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic.

ESPN's Ben Baby later reported Green had suffered a setback with the injury and would be out indefinitely as a result. 

Green initially suffered the ankle injury during a training camp practice in late July. He had been unable to practice again until Oct. 23, when he did so on a limited basis. He was expected to be a full participant in Wednesday's practice, but his ankle flared up during a walkthrough.

"My ankle is not where I need to be for me to play," Green said, per Bengals reporter Marisa Contipelli. "My ankle is saying it's too much and that's when you have to back off."

Having Green on the field Sunday would have been beneficial as it also marks rookie quarterback Ryan Finley's first career start. Head coach Zac Taylor benched longtime starter Andy Dalton in favor of the fourth-round pick as the team entered its bye week in Week 9.

Instead, the rookie passer will likely have to face the AFC North leaders without his top weapon.

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While Cincinnati has gone 0-8 during his absence this season, Green made it clear last month that he wouldn't let the team's record dictate if/when he returned. On Thursday, he acknowledged the injury may require extended rest, though he does not intend to shut himself down for the season.

"The biggest thing for me is just it's not going to be the best until I actually shut it down for a month or two to where I can actually recover," Green said, according to The Athletic's Jay Morrison.

Injuries have taken their toll on Green in recent years. The 31-year-old has missed 21 out of a possible 56 games (37.5 percent) since the start of the 2016 season. If the Bengals have concerns about his durability, the seven-time Pro Bowler is willing to test the market.

"I don't really care about [the contract negotiations]," Green said, per Morrison. "If they're worried about me not playing or not being healthy, then there's 32 teams out there. So I'm not really worried about that situation."

Green has gone on the record on numerous occasions to express his desire to play his entire career with one team, emphasizing loyalty. However, after halting extension talks because of the injury, he recently sent a message to the team by stating publicly "give me a long term or let me go."

He added: "I know my worth."

Since drafting Green fourth overall in 2011, the Bengals 66-48-1 with the star wideout and 5-20-1 without him, according to Dehner. They are 5-4 with him and 1-14 without him since the start of 2018.

Warren Sharp is back on The Lefkoe Show with data-driven predictions on some spreads, totals, and even some fantasy information. Did you know that, despite absolutely running roughshod over the NFL in the first half of the season, Christian McCaffrey looks to be set up for an even bigger second half? Did you also know that one AFC coach fully admitted, during a presser, that he literally never looks at stats? There's some mind-boggling decision-making in the NFL right now, and Lefkoe and Sharp are on hand to sort through the noise and provide you with all the info you need to make smart gambling and DFS decisions all season long!