Pre-Game Hits: A.J. Green Watch; Henderson Makes Debut

Trayvon Henderson makes his NFL debut Sunday.
Trayvon Henderson makes his NFL debut Sunday.

CLEVELAND - The most noteworthy pre-game item in Sunday's Bengals-Browns gathering came when Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green tore up the First Energy Stadium grass before his teammates began warmups.

According to observers, Green looked as explosive as he's been lately running only a handful of routes and it remains to be seen how the ankle responds. But as Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham observed, it would seem to at least put Miami's 80-degree grass in play in two weeks if the ankle holds up.

There were no surprises when the inactives came down following the series of moves late in the week. Carl Lawson was designated as Sam Hubbard's replacement at right end and safety Trayvon Henderson, promoted from the practice squad to replace injured rookie tight end Drew Sample on the roster, was active and maybe not just for special teams in his NFL debut. The Bengals have been using a heavy dose of three safeties and during training camp Henderson got some work as kind of a small linebacker. An undrafted free agent in 2018 out of Hawaii, Henderson had an impressive rookie season until he suffered a season-ending ACL tear making an interception in the pre-season finale.

With safety Brandon Wilson on injured reserve, look for cornerback Darius Phillips to return kicks and possibly punts to give wide receiver Alex Erickson the occasional rest.

The inactives: Green, Hubbard, third quarterback Jake Dolegala, back-up cornerback Torry McTyer, back-up guard John Jerry, back-up tight end Mason Schreck and the recently claimed tackle from the Dolphins in Isaiah Prince.

AFC Defensive Player of the Week Carlos Dunlap, off a career-best three-sack game, looked to have an advantage at left end when the Browns released their inactives. Right tackle Chris Hubbard was out and that elevated Kendall Lamm, a fifth-year player with 24 starts that has played just three snaps this season.

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