You know all about Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green and his recovery from ankle surgery, but it’s easy to forget about cornerback Darqueze Dennard being on PUP following offseason knee surgery. The Bengals badly need both guys back ASAP, but it’s far from a guarantee either will play vs. Jacksonville.
During his Monday meeting with the media, head coach Zac Taylor gave a brief update on Green and Dennard, as well as cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens.
Zac Taylor injury updates:— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) October 14, 2019
CB Darqueze Dennard: want to see in pads live & in person before making decision on when to activate off PUP
CB Dre Kirkpatrick: waiting for more on severity of injury
WR A.J. Green: progressing, a “we’ll see” & no decision made yet if he practices
The “we’ll see” tag brings up painful memories of Marvin Lewis, especially when it’s regarding if Green will even practice. He was a limited participant last week, but after a two-month layoff, it’s hard to see him playing in Week 7 without being a full participant in practice every day this week.
Kirkpatrick’s knee injury looked severe after he had to be carted off the field in Sunday’s 24-20 loss, so even if it’s not season-ending, it’s hard to see him playing this week.
That makes the return of Dennard even more crucial, but like Green, he missed all of training camp and the first six weeks of the regular season. Dennard also needs a full week of practice to feel confident about him facing the Jaguars.
For now, I’d guess all three will be out this week. It’s just not worth risking a re-injury after such a long layoff for Dennard and Green, but it is good to know they’re inching closer toward a return. I’d be surprised if both aren’t playing by Week 10 when Cincinnati returns from its bye week.