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Notes: Collinsworth salutes Green; A.J. fine, but Caldwell not; Smith, Pressley back

Posted Dec 20, 2011


Andre Caldwell

Updated: 2 p.m.

Four shy yards of breaking his Bengals rookie receiving record, A.J. Green doesn’t remind Cris Collinsworth of the No. 80 from 30 years ago that caught 1,009 yards. Collinsworth, now the voice of the game with NBC and a host of others, compares Green to a guy that also will be on the field in Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against the Cardinals at Paul Brown Stadium.

“I love watching him play,” said Collinsworth in a text. “Heart, courage, tough in the air. He reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald. He plays above the defense. I’m very proud to pass the record to that outstanding young man.”

Fitzgerald is sixth in the NFL with 1,157 yards on 65 catches while Green is 13th with 1,006 on 61.

SLANTS AND SCREENS

» Green says his injured AC joint in his right shoulder feels better than he thought it would when he showed up for work Tuesday and even though he didn't practice Tuesday he’s ready to play Saturday.

He said before practice Tuesday that he had already caught a couple of balls in the morning and he surprised himself by even catching a high one.

» But slot receiver Andre Caldwell isn’t doing as well physically and there’s some question if he’ll be available for the final two games. Caldwell revealed Tuesday that he was inactive last Sunday in St. Louis because the abdominal/groin injury he suffered in training camp has nagged him all year and he says it finally caught up to him last week. He said he won’t practice Tuesday and indicated the club is still coming to grips with the nature of the injury because he said he didn’t go to the trainers until head coach Marvin Lewis asked him about it before last Friday’s practice.

If Caldwell can’t go, rookies Andrew Hawkins and Ryan Whalen have to step up in the slot.

Two injured guys did return to practice Tuesday in right tackle Andre Smith (ankle) and fullback Chris Pressley (knee). Smith hasn't played in the last two games and didn't play last week when he had a setback in practice.

Caldwell appeared to be in the most serious jeopardy of the guys that were out Tuesday. Cornerback Nate Clements (knee), safety Chris Crocker (knee), and running back Cedric Benson (back) usually sit the first week of practice. Running back Brian Leonard (knee) was back on the field working in rehab. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth looked to be getting a rest.

» Collinsworth isn’t the only one that thinks of Fitzgerald when talking about Green. So does Green, who says he has become friendly with Fitzgerald and plans to work out with him in Arizona this offseason. Green says they text every couple of weeks with Fitzgerald offering encouragement.

Green lives in Atlanta, where he’ll continue to work out with Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in his quest, he says, to learn how the league’s best receivers train.

» Head coach Marvin Lewis says the Bengals problems on short yardage in St. Louis can be traced to an unnamed new man in the mix and that they are easily fixable. No one was throwing rookie tight end Colin Cochart under the bus because he was playing fullback in an NFL game for the first time in his life and it was an expected struggle. Indications are that both fullbacks that missed Sunday’s game, starter Chris Pressley and backup Brian Leonard, are expected to have a good shot at playing Saturday.

» Saturday's game didn't sell out and won't be on local TV. The Bengals radio network features a triplecast in Cincinnati on WLW-700 and ESPN-1530 as well as WEBN-102.7 on the FM dial.

 

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