While the 25 mile-per-hour wind pistol-whipped Paul Brown Stadium during Wednesday's practice, A.J. Green took his rehab indoors on a day his head coach kept his season alive. As befitting a badly-smashed ankle with torn ligaments, Zac Taylor has had few answers during this 122-day siege in in the wake of Green's injury, but he said before practice that season-ending injured reserve is not one of them even though the Bengals are winless.
"I think he wants to play. I don't think. I know he wants to play," Taylor said. "Right now we continue to carry him (on the roster) and just hopeful each and every week that it will be different and we'll take it from there."
Under the watchful of Bengals rehab chief Nick Cosgray, Green worked on exploding out of his stance. In the past his comeback has been delayed by soreness after a heavy day of work. Taylor won't only not rule him out of playing this season, he'll also keep his options open on this Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) against the Jets at PBS.
Check out photos from Paul Brown Stadium as the Bengals prepare for the Week 13 matchup against the New York Jets.
"I'll know more tomorrow as we get through it. See where he is tonight," Taylor said. "I ask the question every day. Where are we at for tomorrow? We just take it from there. There are things he doesn't feel comfortable with as he runs and cuts. We want to make sure we feel confident putting him out there and he'll be ready to help us."
But since the injury has shelved Green the entire season, Taylor admits he'll probably need more than a week of practice. But he has yet to be available for a Wednesday, the first of three workouts each week. So it makes playing Sunday extremely doubtful.
"At least a week. It depends how long the injury has been, what is the position is," Taylor said. "Certainly you want more days of practice. It's going on a couple of months now. You'd like to get him a couple of practices under his belt. Just for his confidence, Andy's (Dalton) confidence. Any great player still gets reps throwing the ball to each other."
The Bengals put down cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick for the season with a knee injury on Nov. 15, but Taylor says there are different circumstances.
"(Kirkpatrick) wasn't on the horizon. It wasn't one week or two weeks. It was going to be much longer than that," Taylor said. "So let's take the spot and get another corner up. With A.J., you go into it every week just waiting to see if he's ready for Wednesday practice. He's doing everything he can to get back on the field and he wants to play as much as anybody. It just hasn't happened yet."
RETURN OF RED: Andy Dalton resurfaced where he's been for 128 weeks. On the podium talking about this week's game. Except this time he talked about what he took away from his three-week benching.
"It gives you a whole new perspective. When it first happened, I wanted to be bitter," Dalton said. "I didn't know why it was happening, but I knew God has a plan for me. He has a plan for my family and my life, and I had to trust and believe in that. This is just part of my story and part of something I'm going to be able to relate to people on a different level now than I probably could have before."
Dalton admitted he thought he'd never make another start for the Bengals.
"The conversation I had with Zac, and we've had so many conversations, that's one thing, the communication between me and Zac has been there the whole time," Dalton said. "Even when I wasn't playing, we were still talking through a lot of things. I wasn't sure it was going to happen. Obviously, if something would have happened to Ryan (Finley), I would have gone in, but I wasn't sure if I would be starting again."
BENGALS-JETS: The Jets started 1-7 and took a tough loss to the Dolphins that shook Gotham. Now they've won three straight with an offense that has scored 34 points in each of the last three games paired with a defense that has allowed 2.6 yards per rush in the last month. Speaking to Cincinnati media members on Wednesday's conference call, Jets head coach Adam Gase sounded a little like Taylor.
"I think our guys just did a good job sticking with it," Gase said. "They just kept preparing and kept practicing hard. The results weren't what we were looking for, but I do feel like there were small increments of growth, it just wasn't really turning out the way we wanted. The guys did a good job of just blocking the outside noise out and it turned for us a few weeks ago."
INJURY UPDATE: Joining Green out of practice were three guys getting a rest in defensive tackle Geno Atkins, slot corner Darqueze Dennard and tight end Tyler Eifert. Linebacker Nick Vigil (ankle), whose foot has been in a boot after Sunday's game, and tight end Drew Sample (ankle) may not go. It would be Sample's third straight game out.
Two guys listed out make Taylor shake his head. Alex Redmond (bicep) got the bulk of last week's snaps at left guard with Billy Price nursing a back issue. On the last play of Sunday's pre-game warmups, Redmond suffered a season-ending torn bicep on the last snap of pre-game warmups and Price had to play. Then early in the game, with Taylor planning to use more multiple tight end looks with Cethan Carter, primarily a special teams player, Carter left with a concussion he was still listed with after Wednesday's DNP practice.