CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 13: An injured A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals lays in the end zone after making a touchdown catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers during play at Paul Brown Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
According to Joe Reedy, A.J. Green did not practice on Friday and his chances of playing on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens has decreased to 20 percent and according to Geoff Hobson Green's status for Sunday is now probably going to be listed as doubtful.
Last week during the first half Green made a jaw-dropping 36-yard touchdown reception that put the Bengals back in the game. He beat two Pittsburgh defenders to make the catch. Little did we know it would be the final play Green made on Sunday. Later it was learned that Green had hyperextended his knee on that play. Green has now missed practice for three straight days which makes his status look bleak for Sunday and that's something the Bengals don't need.
If Green is indeed out Sunday then the Bengals are going to have to figure out ways to move the ball and put up some points. Green leads Bengals receiver with 41 catches for 635 yards and six touchdowns. Behind Green the Bengals next reliable target is tight end Jermaine Gresham who has caught 29 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns.
The other options at receiver are Jerome Simpson who has been Mr. Inconsistent and Andre Caldwell who has been Simpson's sidekick in unreliability. Simpson has 26 catches on the season for 410 yards while Caldwell has 29 catches for 220 yards.
Another option for Sunday could be Andrew Hawkins who had a nice performance against the Steelers. Last Sunday he made five receptions for a modest 56 yards. He might be the Bengals best option of replacing Green on Sunday.
The Bengals have to hope that Green's injury will only keep him out this week. Without Green in the mix the Bengals' offense is completely different. Green has been the biggest play maker for Cincinnati all season and he's also been the most reliable receiver. Simpson and Caldwell have shown flashes of brilliance but those moments have been overshadowed by their mistakes, whether it's running a bad route or dropping a pass in a crucial situation. I'm not going to remind everyone of Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.
For the Bengals it's going to be vital that they figure out ways to put up points with the absence of Green against one of the most feared defenses in the league.