It has to have been a frustrating Training Camp for Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. After sustaining a knee injury on the first day of Training Camp, Green was held out of numerous practices and the team's preseason opener. The star receiver finally returned to practice this week, doing individual drills on Wednesday and going full-bore on Thursday.
Even with the pleasant news of Green's return and his self-proclamation of feeling "100 percent", it doesn't seem likely that he will suit up and play against the Tennessee Titans this Saturday. In speaking with the media after their final practice of Training Camp, Green didn't sound optimistic of his chances of playing in the team's second preseason game.
A.J. Green returned to full action today at #Bengals. But when asked if he expects to play Saturday, he said "Probably not."— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 15, 2013
The Bengals have been uber-cautious with Green's recovery and don't want there to be any setbacks and this is likely another example of their trepidation. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden spoke about the matter to the media as well, and was a bit more tongue-in-cheek about it.
Asked if he thinks we'll see A.J. Green on Saturday, Jay Gruden said "Hopefully on the sidelines signing autographs." #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 15, 2013
If you have been watching HBO's "Hard Knocks" documentary on the team, you would have seen how much every coach values Green's contributions to the Bengals. If you remember, there was a scene with both head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer expressing extreme relief that Green wasn't seriously injured on that first day.
Though it is disappointing news that the Bengals' home crowd likely won't be seeing Green in action for the first time in 2013, give the coaches credit for protecting one of their star players.