Wide receiver A.J. Green is not quite a go and he won't practice Wednesday, but he'll practice sometime this week and if his injured toe responds he'll put the armor on for Sunday's Battle of Ohio (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) at Paul Brown Stadium.
So sayeth Wednesday before practice head coach Marvin Lewis, who sounded as hopeful about the return of SAM linebacker Nick Vigil (knee), out the past four games. It sounded like Lewis could use Vigil as his communicator on the field since Lewis said he was not only improving as a player when he went down against Pittsburgh Oct. 14, but also as a field general. He didn't practice Wednesday and neither did left tackle Cordy Glenn (back), cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (shoulder), wide receiver Josh Malone (hamstring), defensive tackle Adolphous Washington (knee) and running back Mark Walton (illness). Limited were a trio of defenders: right end Michael Johnson (calf), safety Shawn Williams (hamstring) and tackle Josh Tupou (chest).
Bengals running back Joe Mixon's Oklahoma teammate, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, is one of the league's hot young quarterbacks and Mixon knows why because he believes that prolific Sooners offense fed off each other. Here was his scouting report before Wednesday's practice:
"He's bringing that same vibe to Cleveland. I see it. Everybody sees it. I always wish the best for Bake. Just like I'm sure he wishes the best for me. At the end of the day, Baker is a really good quarterback. I knew he'd go No. 1 this year. We have to keep him contained. Don't let him get into a groove because if he does he could become dangerous. We don't want that. I don't want that … We just have to disrupt him. Whether it's keeping him in the pocket and (making him beat) us with his arm, everybody has to be on all cylinders on the perimeter or the deep third or whatever it is. Just don't let him get into a groove." …
The game's big storyline is Hue Jackson, Lewis' week-old special assistant, coaching against the Browns team that fired him less than a month ago. But Lewis was having none of it.
"I think I've answered enough Hue questions," Lewis said. "We're done. Over."