It looks like A.J. Green will make his return to game action this week.
I'm told unless there's an unexpected setback Bengals WR A.J. Green should play Saturday at Houston. Green is 36 yards from his sixth straight 1,000 yard season. Only Randy Moss has done that.
As Holtzman notes, Green is on the verge of another historical receiving feat if he can get onto the field. With a mere 36 yards, he’ll join future Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss as the only players with six-straight 1,000-yard seasons to being their career.
But more importantly, the Bengals need Green to get back to their winning ways, end 2016 on a high note, and build momentum toward a bounceback season in 2017. If you count the Bills game this year when Green went out after three plays, the Bengals are 2-3 without him this year, and those wins came over the 0-14 Browns and 5-9 Eagles.
All three of the losses likely would have been wins if not for Green being out. He would have easily made a big difference in the 16-12 loss to Buffalo, 19-14 loss to Baltimore, and 24-20 loss to Pittsburgh.
Following Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, which saw the Bengals muster up just 222 total yards of offense, quarterback Andy Dalton admitted not having Green could have been the difference in some of these close losses, but it was just one of many ‘what ifs’ that this team can only wonder about.
“You could say, ‘What if’ on any of these,” Dalton said.
Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth also chimed in on not having Green, though he’s not using it as an excuse for the Bengals’ shortcomings.
“I think it’s something that hurts you, but we could still execute well enough to do something in the second half,” Whitworth said. “It’s one of those things where all you need to do is put some kind of drive together and get some points to keep the momentum there.”
Green has been sidelined for the past month a partially torn hamstring, which was suffered in Week 11. The initial belief was Green’s injury was bad enough to cost him the rest of the season, but the Bengals have been holding out hope he could return.
Leading up to the Steelers game on Sunday, Green returned to practice, though in just a limited capacity for all three sessions last week. He’ll need to get at least one full sessions in this week before the Bengals are comfortable bringing him back.
Green has 66 catches for 964 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season. Not having his production has crippled the Bengals’ offense, so hopefully Green is able to return this week and this report proves true. Evan Washburn also confirmed on the Bengals vs Steelers broadcast that Green told him he expects to play on Saturday in Houston.