CINCINATTI, OH. (WTVQ/RYAN STANTON)-If you told me that the Bengals would be heading into December with a 3-7-1 record and without their most dynamic offensive threat, I would tell you that you must be mistaken. To say that this season has been a downer would be an understatement. At the beginning of the season, the question wasn’t whether the Bengals would make the playoffs, but whether they could get that “early round loss” monkey off their back. Now, the question is what the Bengals can salvage this year and what to expect for next.
The loss of AJ Green is huge. He has been one of the most dynamic and consistently productive NFL receivers for several years. He went out of the Bills game after suffering a Grade-2 hamstring injury. There has been debate in how fast he can return, but my medical side says…don’t push it. It may not be as bad as feared, but it is still a significant injury. The lower body forces necessary to perform in the NFL and more so as a receiver, running explosive routes and schemes are immense. In a season that is looking pretty bleak, the best plan is to let AJ Green fully recovery, because the next injury could be catastrophic. Losing Green for the rest of this season would be unfortunate, but a more significant injury could put the next several years into greater question.
As Thomas Paine wrote nearly 240 years ago, “these are the times that try men’s souls”…as Bengals fans. He may not have added the last part, but he surely must have been thinking ahead to Cincinnati faithful. No worry for bandwagon fans this year. All the committed can do is support the team and look towards brighter days ahead…and a healthy AJ Green. Good news, there will likely be plenty of good tickets available for family game day outings for the rest of the season.