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A.J. Green rehabs during practice on Wednesday

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The Bengals need A.J. Green when they face the Ravens in an AFC North showdown.

John Grieshop

For once, the news regarding A.J. Green's absence at practice wasn't all bad. Though the All-Pro receiver wasn't able to return to practice on Wednesday, he was working on the rehab field in hopes he can get healthy enough to play Sunday vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

To this point, Green hasn't even been working on the rehab field while recovering from his toe injury, so this is a positive step in his recovery. The fact that he's on the rehab field suggests he's close to moving to the practice field soon, something he'll need to do at least once before Marvin Lewis lets him play in an NFL game.

The Cincinnati Bengals have gone a month now without a win, and though they're sitting at a mildly respectable 3-2-1, they need this win to avoid falling 1.5 games behind the Ravens in the AFC North. By losing to Baltimore on Sunday, Cincinnati would also be losing a potential head-to-head tiebreaker with the Ravens.

Because the Bengals won in Baltimore in Week 1, a win Sunday would give the Bengals the only tiebreaker they need in the event both teams finish with equal records by season's end. This may be as close to a must-win game as Cincinnati has this year.

If Green can play Sunday, that will greatly increase their chances of winning, even if he's just 70-80 percent of the receiver he's capable of being.