CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A.J Green says it happened to him once in college. After he left the game on the third play of the third quarter in Sunday's 31-21 loss to the Panthers, he said he landed awkwardly and suffered a groin injury when he couldn't come down with a slant over the middle.
"I thought I had the wind knocked out of me, but when I tried to run, I went 'oh,'" Green said. "I didn't hear anything pop."
Green, who was headed to a big day with five catches for 54 yards, said he didn't think he tore anything and that he thinks he can play next week in Atlanta.
He was hoping he could come in after "it calmed down after one or two series," but he didn't come back. It's the first significant amount of time he's missed since the last seven games of the 2016 season with a hamstring tear.
- The guy who ended up having a day was slot receiver Tyler Boyd, who had his first NFL 100-yard day with 132 on six catches that included two long ones when quarterback Andy Dalton was scrambling out of trouble.
They both came after Green got hurt. One, a 27-yarder, went for a TD that cut it to 28-21 with 2:53 left in the third quarter and Boyd said he kept running his route even as Dalton flung it across his body squaring up his shoulders at the last instant.
The same thing happened on a 49-yarder with 7:55 left, except Boyd cut off that route and snuck away from the secondary as Dalton uncoiled it deep. That put the ball on the Panthers 25, but a holding call on right guard Alex Redmond forced Randy Bullock's 53-yarder that went wide left with 7:14 left. It broke Bullock's skein of 14 straight.
"At that point it was back-yard football," Dalton said of the 49-yarder. "He's got instincts. He knows the game."
Boyd, the first 100-yard player for the Bengals this season, said he didn't think he could take the 49-yarder all the way because he wasn't running top speed after breaking off the route.
- Don't be fooled by numbers. They say Dalton threw four interceptions for the first time since last year's opener and for just the third time in his career. But the last one came on the last play fling and another one came on a tipped ball. And there were two others where some thought wide receiver John Ross should have put more of a fight on those 50-50 balls.
Dalton got chased most of the game and still ended up with 352 yards passing on 29 of 46 for a 64.8 rating in tying Boomer Esiason with the most 300-yard games in Bengals history.
- It was a defensive nightmare for Bengals to the tune of 230 yards rushing, a stunning number rarely allowed in club annals, certainly under head coach Marvin Lewis. It's only the sixth time they've allowed that much on the ground in his 16 seasons.
"Couldn't stop the run. That's why we lost the game," said WILL linebacker Nick Vigil.
Middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson attributed the 184-yard onslaught of running back Christian McCaffrey to being unable to execute "assignment football," with the Panthers so adept at running what amounts to the option football.
"It takes discipline and they beat us Nickerson said.
_And they may have lost one of their key players up front when defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow was carted off the field with what is feared to be a serious knee injury.