UPDATE: Green remains under the concussion protocol. The Bengals are still waiting to clear A.J. Green, who remains under concussion protocols, the team announced Friday morning. Green was at practice as a limited participant on Thursday, but that was a generous classification. Green will see two specialists before Sunday morning, when he'll need to be cleared or miss Cincinnati's wild card game against the Indianapolis Colts.
There was a momentary glimpse of good news before storm clouds gathered back in.
Originally this morning, beat writers and observers had noted that A.J. Green joined his teammates on the practice field. Conclusions were immediately made that A.J. Green was practicing... and thus was cleared from his concussion protocols. Celebrations ensued and the collected breath of an entire region was exhaled.
Not. Even. Close.
Green participated in a warm-up on Thursday and hung around for the installation of the team's game-plan but still hasn't passed concussion protocols. According to the team, Green was cleared for warm ups and will be further evaluated on Friday when he sees a neuropsychologist and then an independent doctor on Saturday. It stands to reason that Green won't practice this week and might be cleared prior to game-time on Sunday.
Green, who missed practice on Wednesday, was immediately placed under concussion protocols following receiving a shot from Pittsburgh safety Mike Mitchell. It occurred during Antwon Blake's forced fumble with four minutes remaining against the Steelers.
Green hasn't been entirely durable this year, missing three games and most of a fourth due to a toe injury. A hard shot against the Denver Broncos in Week 16 led to a deep bicep bruise and a decoy role for most of that game -- though he was able to play the following week during the regular season finale in Pittsburgh.