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Bengals WR A.J. Green opting out of the Pro Bowl

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The Bengals will have one less representative in Orlando as A.J. Green has decided not to make the trip to this season’s Pro Bowl.

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Green is officially opting out of the Pro Bowl for the second straight season.

Last year, it was a hamstring injury he suffered during Week 11 that held him out from participating. This year, it is a little less clear as to what’s plaguing Green.

Green had not been suffering from an injury that was reported publicly. If it is, in fact, an injury holding him out like the Indy Star is reporting, then it was either a minor nagging injury or something he suffered since the end of the season, which is a doubtful scenario.

It is worth noting that Green has not attended a Pro Bowl since he saw his teammate Tyler Eifert suffer a major injury in the 2015 Pro Bowl.

In all likelihood, Green doesn’t feel like risking injury for a meaningless game at this point in his career. He has proven he is one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL with seven straight seasons with over 950 yards receiving, which is something no other receiver has done to start out their careers.

Green finished the season with 75 catches for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns. By Green’s standards it was a down year, but considering he was the only real threat at the receiver position, it is pretty amazing he put up those numbers. After Eifert went down in Week 2, Green had to deal with constant double and even triple teams at times from opposing defenses.

Green’s motivation probably isn’t contract based either. He has two seasons left on his contract. He is scheduled to be a free agent in 2020, but odds are the Bengals won’t let him get close to sniffing the open market.

The only remaining Pro Bowler for the Bengals on the current roster is Geno Atkins. Atkins was an easy choice for the AFC, but we will see if he decides to attend the Pro Bowl or not. Clayton Fejedelem and Vontaze Burfict are also currently alternates for the Pro Bowl, so if enough people drop out, they could also be added to the list.

Green is being replaced by T.Y. Hilton from the Colts. He tallied 57 receptions for 966 yards and four touchdowns on the season. His saving grace was his 16.9 yards per catch average, which was good enough for fourth in the NFL. He did all of this without Andrew Luck either.

It is kind of disappointing not seeing many Bengals in the Pro Bowl. It wasn’t that long ago that we saw six players representing the team in the 2016 Pro Bowl. However, the team taking a huge dip in production following the 2015 season has caused fewer players to be selected, and those who are saw what happened to Eifert during a meaningless game.

It is hard to make an argument for players to attend the game. It is a glorified exhibition that isn’t even watched that much. The ratings are consistently terrible, and the product on the field hardly above that of the fourth preseason game.

The only argument for it is the players get a vacation to Orlando, but most players can take a private vacation somewhere else. They also wouldn’t have to play a football game or talk to the media while doing it.

If Green isn’t 100 percent for whatever reason, it makes total sense for him to skip the Pro Bowl this year.