On Thursday, Green told reporters he is healthy enough to play this weekend after missing the last three games with a strained hamstring. He even went as far as to call it “cowardly” if he sat out a game because the Bengals are out of playoff contention.
#Bengals A.J. Green says he expects to play this weekend. Sitting out because playoffs out of reach would be "cowardly."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) December 22, 2016
That’s a statement you’d think most NFL players would make, but that actually isn’t the case, especially with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ star running back said earlier this month he would not return if the Vikings were out of playoff contention, though he ended up playing last week with Minnesota still in the playoff hunt.
Regardless, it’s great to see Green back on the field if he does play Saturday. The Bengals’ offense has been hot garbage without him in the lineup, and it’s hard to see them winning in Houston without their All-Pro receiver.
Green has 66 catches for 964 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season. He also leads the team with 15 catches of 20-plus yards. Even though he’s missed the better part of four games, Green was named to the 2017 Pro Bowl on Tuesday night.
Not having his production has crippled the Bengals’ offense, which is averaging just 20 points per game over their last five games. Assuming Green does play Saturday, this game suddenly becomes much more interesting to watch, and hopefully one that the Bengals can win as they look to end 2016 on a high note.
It is worth noting that Green was listed as limited for Wednesday’s practice session, and he really needs to get a full session in for the coaches to give him a full workload in Houston.