Early on Saturday morning, news broke the A.J. Green would not play in Saturday night’s game against the Texans. The Bengals’ ownership made a decision with the help of the team doctors that Green should not play due to “an inordinate amount of risk” that would be exposed if he played.
Further news from NFL Network’s Stacey Dales revealed that Green has a partially torn tendon, in addition to his partially torn (grade 2 tear) hamstring, which is still healing. That was new information to Bengals fans.
For some reason, the Bengals opted to wait until they were in Houston to tell Green he would not play in Week 16. Green traveled with the Bengals to Houston, while the rest of the players who were inactive due to injury were allowed to stay home with their families. As soon as Green got the news that he wouldn’t play, he asked Marvin Lewis if he could go home, and he returned home to his wife and three-month-old son on Christmas Eve. It seems odd that the Bengals would wait until they got to Houston to share the news with Green that he wouldn’t play. This is especially true as Green stated multiple times throughout the week that he would play and called it cowardly to sit out, regardless of the Bengals’ elimination from playoff contention.
Marvin Lewis addressed the situation following the Bengals’ loss to the Texans.
“Well, we had a lot of discussions and so forth. A.J. hoped to play, but we ended up flying here and then making a decision, and he asked for the opportunity to go home,” Lewis said, keeping it short.
Andy Dalton also spoke about Green after the game, acknowledging he would have loved to have his Pro Bowl receiver on the field. This is especially true as Green is the Bengals’ best player, and Cincinnati only lost Saturday’s game to the Texans by two points.
“A.J. is obviously the type of person that was going to do everything he could to get back for this team,” Dalton said. “I think it’s one thing that he said from the beginning is regardless of the scenario, regardless of the position we’re in I am going to do everything I can to come back and play this year. That’s just the type of guy he is. That’s the type of guy you want on your team and the type of teammate he is. He did that. He felt like he was in position. He made a decision. Would I love to have him out there? Absolutely but the decision was made.”
Green is 36 yards away from joining Randy Moss as the only two players in NFL history to start out their careers with six straight 1,000 yard receiving seasons. If Green doesn’t play next week against the Ravens, he won’t have the opportunity to join Moss in the record books. As of now, it sounds like Green won’t be playing in week 17.