A.J. Green’s Injury: When Will the Bengals WR Return to Play?

AJ Green Return

Getty A.J. Green is still a few weeks away from returning for the Bengals.

A.J. Green’s injury is expected to continue sidelining him through at least Week 6 with the potential for the Bengals receiver to miss even more time. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that while Green has been running, the receiver “could be out a while” as he recovers from ankle surgery.

Green, 31, got out of a protective boot a few weeks ago and has been running and doing workouts. He is not expected to be ready, however, for the games against Arizona at home and at Baltimore, sources said.

The Bengals then have games against the Jaguars and then the Rams in London before a bye week. If the 0-3 Bengals haven’t turned around their season by then, it might not make sense for Green to rush his return when free agency awaits this offseason.

Green Admitted That His Recovery Is Going to Take Longer Than 6 to 8 Weeks

Schefter also suggested that Green’s upcoming free agent status could be impacting his potential return timeline. After Green sustained the injury during training camp, there was a suggested timeline of six to eight weeks. The star receiver recently noted that this was not an accurate estimate for his recovery.

“I don’t know where they got the six to eight weeks from. It’s going to be longer than that,” Green told Bengals.com. “It’s just one of those things that has to heal on its own. When I feel I’m healthy enough to play at the level I’m used to playing, I just want to make sure it’s at 100 percent.”

Green Has Been Running During Bengals Practices

All indications are Green has not suffered a setback, but the team is exercising caution in bringing back the receiver. Green has been running and catching footballs on the rehab field during practices, per Cincinnati.com. Green has been jogging “without any hitch in his step.”

“I take it week-to-week with him,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor noted to Cincinnati.com. “He’s making the progress that we anticipated him making. There hasn’t been any setbacks. He’s making steady progress.”

Receivers Tyler Boyd and John Ross have stepped up in Green’s absence but the team’s offense can be more explosive with Green added back into the mix. Ross discussed what Green’s presence means to the team as well as his passion for the game.

“Look at him over there,” Ross explained to Bengals.com. “He likes being around the guys. He cares about everybody. What a guy to have on your team.”

Green Is in the Final Year of His Contract & Will Be a Free Agent in 2020

When Green returns, he could be playing his final few games with the Bengals. Green’s four-year, $60 million contract expires at the end of the season making the receiver an unrestricted free agent. Green insisted that his upcoming free agency will not impact when he returns to play.

“Everybody knows what I’m capable of doing if healthy,” Green said, per Bengals.com. “All I can do is play like I have the last nine years and it will take care of itself. You never know. It’s a business. I have no intention of holding out. I’m not going to do anything crazy. I just want to play football.”