Bengals coach Zac Taylor uttered the words everyone in Bengal-land has been waiting to hear:
“I do think A.J. will play this week.”
That would be A.J. Green, the team’s best player who has been out all year with an ankle injury. An hour and a half later, when practice started, Green was not at practice.
“It came after the walkthrough,” Taylor said. “He went and got some treatment. It just didn’t feel great, so we held him out of practice today. Now, we’ll go just by day-by-day.
“We felt good about the progress he was making. That’s why I said what I said. I didn’t feel like he could practice today. We’ll get through tonight and see where it’s at (Thursday).”
He injured his ankle in the first practice of training camp this year.
That injury required surgery, as well. It was expected that he’d miss four to six weeks at that point. We’re up to 13 weeks.
Coming off an ankle injury, the question isn’t about straight-ahead running so much as cutting – the key to running good routes. But, at the press conference, Taylor said Green was progressing on that.
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“A.J. has gotten better every single day I’ve seen him,” Taylor said. “I think he’s making great progress. I don’t want to get too specific. But he’s getting confident, and we’re getting confident.
Then whatever happened Wednesday happened.
“He’s been making great progress this week,” Taylor said. “(Last) Wednesday was a good day. Monday was a good day. Now, he’s getting back into the fold. We’ll have a good plan in place for him on Sunday.”
Green, 31, has played in only one game since Oct. 28 of last year. He was limited to nine games by a right foot injury last year. He missed three games with the injury and then re-injured it in his first game back – that required season-ending surgery.
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