JACKSONVLLE - A.J. Green apologized to his teammates after he was ejected for fighting with Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but after Sunday's 23-7 loss he was adamant about defending himself against what he called "a cheap shot."
"That's not football," Green said of Ramsey's shove in the back when he wasn't looking after a play at the end of the first half. "I could come at you and cut you every play. Cut you in the knees. I'm not going to because it's a cheap shot. As a man, that's disrespectful … It's a respect thing."
Green faces a suspension after he then put Ramsey in a headlock and started punching away. Even in the helmet until it was broken up. He admitted that Ramsey had been talking to him all game and putting his hands on his face mask. He also said an official told him he'd call hands to the face the next time he saw it.
"He got under my skin. I can't let that happen," Green said. "I'm an ultimate pro … I can't put myself in that position and I can't to that to my teammates."
But he also said he's going to defend himself.
"I have a son," he said. "I'm not teaching him to back down."
It's now officially Green's worst three-game stretch as a pro with seven catches in the last three games after getting just one Sunday for six yards on two targets.
But he said the fight didn't stem from frustration.
"I'm a team guy," he said. "All that matters is Ws."
Wide receiver Brandon LaFell stood by his man.
"A.J. handled it the right way," LaFell said. "When a guy continues to cheap shot you and chirp at you … you have to stand up and be a man. You can't let a man treat you like that. Putting his hands on his face mask and then hitting you after the play."
-Cornerback Adam Jones has been a part of five play-off teams and two AFC North winners in Cincinnati and right now he's not feeling it and the oldest Bengal asked a pointed question following the game.
"At a certain point, do you really want to win? That's my question to some of the guys. How much do you want to win?" Jones said. "I'm not saying everybody is going to make every play. That's not what I'm saying. But what I'm talking about is heart and playing with a passion. At this point we're not playing with any beeping passion …
They'll sugar coat to y'all however they want to sugar coat it. Guys have to realize we're playing for our bleeping livelihood. At the end of the day when things go bad, they find somebody else to do it. I'm just trying to stay positive and do my part."
LaFell, who arrived in Cincy last year after helping the Patriots to a Super Bowl title, echoed Jones.
"You have to make a play. He's not on the field. Stop looking around waiting for A.J. to make a play. He's not on the field now. You go make a play," LaFell said. "We definitely have to stand up and be a man and stop letting the guy across from you dominate. Point blank, that's it."
-You can't score if you don't have the ball. On Sunday the Bengals ran their fewest plays in the Marvin Lerwis Era (37) and they came up with the third fewest yards in the past 15 seasons with 148. The Bengals ran their next fewest plays in the 2009 finale, 40 in a lay-down, 37-0, to the Jets when they were getting ready for a play-off game the next week. The second lowest yardage total was 135 in the 2014 shutout in Indy.
-Right tackle Jake Fisher exited with an undisclosed illness early in the second quarter, but he did return with the team Sunday night.