A.J. Green: Bengals say the risk is too great to play him.
HOUSTON _ After a Friday night meeting with ownership, head coach Marvin Lewis, and their medical staff, the Bengals have determined there is "an inordinate amount of risk," for Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green to play with his injured hamstring and it sounds like their franchise player is done for the year.
The Bengals would only confirm that Green won't play Saturday night against the Texans and that he has departed from Houston after accompanying the team for Friday's trip.
The Bengals didn't address his status for next week's finale against the Ravens. They said there wouldn't be an announcement on it until after the weekend. That would indicate some type of move that could put Green on injured reserve for the first time in his six seasons.
The Bengals' announcement came against the backdrop of an ESPN.com report that said he was pulled out of a team meeting to be given the news and the upset Green didn't return to the meeting.
Green said Thursday that he felt healthy enough to play against the Texans and on Friday he went full go for the first time since partially tearing his hamstring on the second snap of the Nov. 20 game against Buffalo, basically taking him out of the last five games.
But the Bengals have insisted he won't play unless the hamstring is 100 percent and apparently they don't think he's ready. The club said Friday night's meeting was an extensive discussion and it was troubled by the presence of a partially torn tendon. Outside consultants apparently also advised the club there is a risk of more damage if Green plays.
The fear is that Green's tear is higher than most on the hamstring and since the tendon is involved there is the risk it could come off the bone. That's the worst case scenario suffered by Reds Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr., who had to undergo surgery to re-attach it and there was some debate if he was the same player after the procedure. The Bengals want to avoid surgery under any scenario.
After losing tight end Tyler Eifert for the first six games of this season with an ankle injury suffered in the Jan. 31 Pro Bowl, it looks like the Bengals aren't prepared to take any off-season risks with their best player.
Green, selected to his sixth Pro Bowl earlier this week, is 36 yards shy of joining Randy Moss as the only players to catch 1,000 yards in their first six seasons.