Wide receiver A.J. Green, the Bengals fourth overall selection during the 2011 NFL Draft, will begin his NFL career wearing #18. While the number has some history, there's plenty of room where Green could make his own history with that number. But what is that number's history?
Running back Paul Robinson, drafted in the third round of the 1968 NFL Draft, wore the number for five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. During the Bengals inaugural season, Robinson led the AFL with 1,023 yards rushing, eight touchdowns, 238 rush attempts and an average 73.1 yards/game. Then on October 26, 1972, the Bengals traded Robinson, along with running back Fred Willis to the Houston Oilers.
The Bengals acquired Charlie Joiner in the trade, who also wore #18. Joiner played 39 games with the Bengals posting 82 receptions for 1,463 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Joiner would go on to the San Diego Chargers, putting together a Hall of Fame career that would end with 65 career touchdown receptions, 750 receptions and 12,146 yards receiving. (FYI, Chad Ochocinco has more career receptions and touchdowns than Joiner, doing it in 88 less games)
Since Joiner last wore it in 1975, #18 has been worn by Adrian Breen, Jim Gallery, Thomas Bailey and Skyler Green. However, #18 hasn't been worn by another player for more than one season since Joiner.