Updated: 6:45 p.m.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis got his wish the hard way as he pulled wide receiver A.J. Green out of practice for at least the weekend with a knee bruise. Lewis doesn't think it will be much longer after that before his two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is back on the field.
Although Green said the injury felt like the hyperextended knee he suffered catching a touchdown pass against the Steelers two years ago, Lewis said in his Friday news conference the injury has been diagnosed as an external bruise and a mild internal bruise of the knee.
"We'll take our time with it and let him get it right. He'll be fine. Hopefully very quickly," Lewis said.
As Green discussed his injury while sitting in front of his locker after Friday morning's walkthrough, he was adamant that he won't change his go-after-any-ball-anywhere style that has made him one of the NFL's top receivers in his first two seasons.
And Lewis isn't too sure he wants to talk him out of it.
"I don't know. He made one catch this spring that was the most incredible catch I've ever seen," Lewis said. "He stretched out for the ball, put his left hand down, rolled, came up on his feet and he was parallel to the ground about a foot above the ground. He's kind of put together that way."
With the Bengals working on the tight quarters of the practice field adjacent to the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, Lewis has no plans to switch. Green said he landed awkwardly on his knee chasing an Andy Dalton deep ball out-of-bounds because he twisted his body trying to stay in-bounds. He's not sure if he stepped on sand or a rock. Both are several yards from the sideline.
"I don't have any concerns; that's part of football," Lewis said. "We have to make sure we try and stay on our feet as best we can."
Since the ball was thrown so far out of bounds, Green was twisting to stay in.
"It was off on the sand. I don't know if my foot slipped from under me a little bit but I was off balance, just an awkward landing," Green said. Cornerback Terence Newman, the unfortunate guy covering Green, didn't think it could have been avoided.
"I don't know if it was the sideline. I think his plant foot came down wrong," Newman said. "I don't know if really there's any place that could have prevented it. It sounded like he said he just planted wrong."
And, yes, Newman was just like everyone else in Bengaldom and almost had a medical event of his own when he saw what happened to Green.
"We were so close to the sideline. I saw that the ball was going to sail out of bounds so I tried to pull up and just go behind him," Newman said. "But he's the type of receiver that tries to make every single catch possible. So I just kept on running and I came back and saw him on the ground. I didn't know what happened to him. It was a scary moment, for sure.
"That's one of those guys that if he threw up on the sideline, I'm nervous. Now I'm seeing him grab his knee, so I'm really nervous. Sounds like he's going to be good, though, so that was a breath of fresh air."
But when he comes back, Green says he won't stop leaping.
"That's how I'm programmed. That's what I know," he said. **
LAW IS FIRM: **Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, he of the law-firm nickname and judicial demeanor, is becoming more and more of a high-profile figure and leader in Bengaldom in his second season since coming down from New England.
He was one of the five players that spoke briefly at the Bengals Pep Rally.
"My job is to try to make sure everything is going well with the team and they want to help get the fans involved, I'm all for it," BJGE said. "I like it. Some things come natural like being the leader of (the backs) right now. I'm the most experienced guy and that's where it is right now."
Green-Ellis, heading into his sixth season after being in the middle of New England's Super Bowl run in 2011, wouldn't say he's more of leader but admits, "I feel wise."
"I was like a quarterback. I played four or five games my rookie year, had (26) carries my second year," BJGE said. "I sat back and learned a lot from veterans like Kevin Faulk and Fred Taylor. How to take care of my body and what to do on and off the field."
LAW FIRM ON LAW: Green-Ellis, a former teammate of tight end Aaron Hernandez in New England, challenged his fellow players to help lift the cloud now hovering over the league.
"We have to come out here and play ball. That's the only thing we can do right now to help the situation," he said. "Not only that but just to help the league. The best thing for the league right now is for every guy on all 32 teams to go out and perform at a high level and put all of the negative we have going on behind us in our rearview mirror."
BJGE is like everyone else and finds it unfathomable. And he knows Hernandez.
"I think it was shocking to everyone. Anytime you know anybody, like if one of you guys were to do something, or be committed or acquitted or accused of something like that of course it's going to be shocking," he said. "But right now we just have to send out our prayers to both families and let the good Lord take care of that situation.
"My heart goes out to both families and hopefully everything turns out the way everyone is OK with, but it's a trying situation and it's really sad the way it happened. It's been a tough offseason for the league in general but we have to move past those things and try to get down to playing football."
» The first six field goals of camp were good as rookie free-agent Quinn Sharp of Oklahoma State hit the first three and veteran Mike Nugent backed it up from 37, 39 and 44 yards.
» Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons deployed a handful of returners for the first kickoff returns, such as cornerback Adam Jones, wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Marvin Jones, and running backs Giovani Bernard and Rex Burkhead. But the guy who had the clear jets was transplanted rookie cornerback Onterio McCalebb, whose 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash was an NFL scouting combine leader and that was pretty evident running back his one ball Friday.
» Safety George Iloka stretched out and tipped a completion away from tight end Alex Smith.
» It's been two years since the lockout, but a minor work stoppage ensued when cameramen objected to being restricted to areas in both end zones. The Bengals were attempting to keep the sidelines free of traffic, but the cameramen feared the fans would be getting better pictures from the bleachers. The media boycotted the first 45 minutes of practice, when a solution was reached and they were allowed to shoot from one of the sidelines. Not the A.J. Green sideline.
» With no tickets and turnstiles, the rough estimate for the first crowd of training camp was 1,300.
PLAY OF THE DAY: After an impressive first day, rookie tight end Tyler Eifert wasted no time following it up Friday. On the second snap of 11-on-11, Eifert lined up in the slot and ran a sideline route with safety Reggie Nelson in hot pursuit. Quarterback Andy Dalton lofted it to the outside and Eifert beat Nelson to the spot in plucking it out of the air with an economical swipe away from his body.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: SAM linebacker James Harrison has been all over the place in his first two camp practices as a Bengal. He's blitzed often and in 11-on-11 he dropped into coverage and knocked away a pass headed to tight end Jermaine Gresham. In one 11-on-11 snap, he forced Dalton to make a quick throw and Dalton seemingly buzzed it through Harrison's fingertips on a blitz for a completion.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Green on Hard Knocks reacting to his injury: "That crew got there in no time. Coach (Marvin Lewis) said the camera guy running nearly pulled his hamstring."
ANOTHER QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Law Firm sounding like the Council of Economic Advisers talking about how last year's running game emerged at the end of the season: "It was up-down, like the stock market. That's what we were the first half of the season and then we kind of became like the Dow Jones like the old at the end of it."
NEXT UP: Saturday practice from 3-5 p.m., gates open at 2 p.m.