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Wednesday update: Green OK; Red hot zone; Yes Suh

Posted Aug 17, 2011


A.J. Green

Updated: 6:30 p.m.

GEORGETOWN, Ky. — Call it The Sigh of the Tiger.

Wide receiver A.J. Green, resident rookie phenom, left Wednesday's practice with what head coach Marvin Lewis called an injury that wasn't serious. And Green later said he planned on practicing Thursday, although it sounds like he will be held out a day or two.

As Bengaldom exhaled.

It looks to involve a muscle near the knee and Lewis indicated Green was kicked there running a route early in practice. Green seemed to tweak a bump from Tuesday night, when he walked it off. This time a bag of ice was strapped to the back of his right leg before he went into the locker room. He came back out to watch the end of practice and signed autographs as he walked back to the locker room, saying he'll be ready for the Jets this Sunday.

JUST FINE: Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden raised his eyebrows a tad Wednesday when he heard Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had been fined $20,000 for tearing the helmet off Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

"It's the rules," Gruden said. "I'm glad he got back up."

You have to understand where Gruden is coming from on this. He doesn't want to see Dalton get hit or, worse, not get up. But he's also glad Dalton took some shots early because Gruden realizes Dalton is going to have to understand how hard defenders hit at this level.

"They don't hit like that at Wyoming," Gruden said.

RED HOT ZONE: Lewis was also breathing a sigh of relief when his offense rustled for the first time all day Wednesday on two Dalton scoring passes during a period Dalton hit all of his passes.

Gruden was extremely pleased with the first two throws, a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bo Scaife on first and 10, followed by an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Dalton then found wide receiver Andre Caldwell in front of a linebacker before he found Simpson beating cornerback Leon Hall on a quick throw.

Simpson ran a lightning-quick slant for the TD when he beat cornerback Nate Clements inside and went in untouched.

"Good route by Jerome because it was zero coverage (man-to-man) and the cornerback had inside leverage," Gruden said. "Jerome was still able to cross his face against one of the better corners out there. It was a hell of a throw. A timing route all the way. The window of opportunity on that throw is very, very (small) and Andy put some zip on it. Jerome turned around and the ball was on him. Great throw; great catch."

With tight end Jermaine Gresham missing his third straight practice with an unknown ailment, Scaife had his best day catching the ball. The TD came on a route to the left side, where he was wide open at about the 5-yard line near the sideline after Dalton's play-action fake. Gruden said he has called that play three or four times in camp, but haven't thrown it because of tight coverage. This time SAM linebacker Manny Lawson let Scaife get too far behind him.

"It's nice to see a play run like the way it's drawn up," Gruden said. "Bo was a little bit out of shape. He's working himself in shape and learning the new system. It's different than what it was in Tennessee, some of the same concepts but he has to learn the terminology. He'll get better and better the more he gets into shape. "

Caldwell has been saddled by a stomach pull that has kept him out the last week, which included the opener, but he and wide receiver Jordan Shipley were active in the middle of the field Wednesday.

"We're counting on him a lot," Gruden said. "He gives us big play opportunities, he's smart, he knows all three positions."

INJURY UPDATE: Naturally, Gruden gets near to a full complement of receivers with the signing of Calvin Russell and the return of Caldwell and Andrew Hawkins, and then Green tweaks his knee. After practicing Monday, left end Carlos Dunlap (knee) has now missed two straight practices after missing all of the previous week. There's no sense of how serious it is. Cornerback Brandon Ghee (hamstring) returned to practice briefly, but was back on the sidelines by the middle of the workout.

Also out was rookie running back Jay Finley (unknown) for the third straight practice. Indications are it's not serious, but he hasn't played since he had a team-high seven carries in Detroit.

Andre Smith suited up but didn't work with Dennis Roland getting the snaps at first team right tackle. Lewis said Smith is OK, but indicated the club doesn't want to pound his troublesome foot.

"We had a Tuesday night practice and now today, so by tomorrow (11:10 a.m.) it will be more than 24 hours," Lewis said. "We backed some guys off."

NEEDY MOVES: With punt returner Quan Cosby one of four wide receivers that didn't work Tuesday because of muscle pulls, the Bengals had to cover themselves for Sunday night's game in Jersey against the Jets.

Just before Wednesday's practice they officially announced the signing of Gruden's UFL receiver with the Florida Tuskers last year, Calvin Russell, along with the signing of LeRoy Vann, a Florida A&M cornerback that returned a sub-Division I record 11 kicks for touchdowns with eight kickoffs and three punts.

Vann, 24, joined San Francisco as an undrafted free agent last year and was cut during camp before playing for Montreal of the CFL. Russell, 29, had a cup of coffee with the Packers before hooking up with Gruden.

"I definitely want guys that know the playbook," Gruden said. "There's no time to teach them and they're going to have to play."

SNAP TO: For a guy who didn't try a shotgun snap untll he flipped them back to Matthew Stadford at this spring's do-it-yourself workouts, Bengals rookie offensive lineman Clint Boling is doing OK for his first run at center. He says he's basically learned the shotgun snap on his own, but starting center Kyle Cook is helping him on some of the finer points.

That didn't help him from wheeling one over offensive assitant Kyle Caskey's head during warmups in Detroit. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander made the call right then. If he brought that out into the game, "What if he gets the yips and can't ever do it again?"

It doesn't look like Boling has to worry about his career. The Bengals coaches like what he's doing at left guard and it sounds like he may play right guard some time soon. He could do it Sunday even though he has yet to work as a Bengal at right guard.

"I did it at school, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem," said Boling, a fourth-rounder out of Georgia.

He could also be playing center. "I'll try not to snap it over somebody's head in warmups," he said.

 

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