DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Jordan Shipley #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals is helped off the field after being injured against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
A.J. Green. Some define him as one of the league's brightest future stars, both for his abilities and humble personality. Others have a more practical perspective. Green is the embodiment of a major leap in humanity's genetic evolution. What would Cincinnati's offense have done without him? Though speculative inquiries tend to turn even the most sane folk into raging lunatics, it would be pointless to compound that bottomless reservoir with more idle musings.
Such as what this offense would have been with wide receiver Jordan Shipley. Instead of the Andre Caldwell disappearing act, or the limited Andrew Hawkins gadget play selection, the team would have had a solid slot receiver consistently taking the field from day one and offering Andy Dalton another weapon besides Mr. Advanced Evolution and Jerome Simpson -- or as he laughed, calling himself Megamind.
However during the second game of the 2011 regular season against the Denver Broncos, Shipley tore his ACL and MCL in his knee that quickly ended his season. The good news is that Shipley's expected recovery should be a month or two (conservative estimates) before training camp starts in late July.
"Obviously I’d love to be ready for training camp. Honestly I’d like to be able to do some stuff in the spring so we’ll see how that goes and I’ve just got to keep working hard," said Shipley. "It’s been a strange year. You go in expecting to play all year and then all of a sudden you’re done for the year. It’s definitely not what you’re expecting but things come up. I’ll try to do whatever I can to get back."