_When the dust cleared for Wednesday’s first day of practice prepping for Sunday’s game in Los Angeles (4:05 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12), wide receiver A.J. Green had swapped spots with rookie cornerback Davontae Harris on injured reserve. The Green move had been telegraphed when he was carted off the field last Sunday, but there had been a season-long hope that Harris, their first fifth-rounder this year, could play since he went on injured reserve after a knee injury in the preseason.
Not working Wednesday were starting left tackle Cordy Glenn (back) and starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle in boot) on a 30-degree-not-exactly-L.A.-day, as well as starting middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict and back-up cornerback Tony McRae with concussions. Back-up wide receiver Josh Malone (hamstring) returned to practice for the first time in a month in limited fashion. Also limited were starting D-ends Carlos Dunlap (hip) and Michael Johnson (pectoral) and starting running back Joe Mixon (foot).
That leaves a wide receiver room where John Ross noted the oldest is Alex Erickson, a third-year college free agent one month after his 26th birthday, and the senior man is Tyler Boyd, a third-year second-rounder 62 yards from his first 1,000-yard season.
“It’s a jump into the future,’ Ross said of the Green void. “It’s something we’re all going to find out if he we can handle. It’s a test for the young guys to show that we belong and handle everything thrown our way.” …
_The run of the great pass rushers continues. It started with the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs on Nov. 18 (0), then the Browns’ Myles Garrett (1), the Broncos’ Von Miller (1.5) and Bradley Chubb (1) and now the Chargers’ tandem of Melvin Ingram III (5) and Joey Bosa (three in three games).
Bosa, the Ohio State All-American, is making his 30th start and already has seven multi-sack NFL games despite coming off a foot problem that cost him the season’s first nine games. Bengals rookie center Billy Price saw it up close in Columbus.
“A freak. I think that's probably the unanimous term for him,” Price said. “He's very big, 6-5, 260, 270 whatever he is at this point (listed at 280), he's rare that he turn from quickness to power very quickly. I think that he can impact the game whenever he wants. If he wants to flip that switch there's nobody stopping him. It's a great challenge for us. It's going to be fun going against him again.”
Of course, that didn’t happen all that often in practice. Price thinks maybe Bosa kicked inside when he was playing guard all of three times.
“Go ask Joey. How do you think they went? Joey is a freak and everything as advertised,” Price said …
_The retirement of Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and the reaction it caused more than caught Price’s eye.
“The amount of things he's done for myself, the list goes on and on and on,” Price said. “Probably the best aspect of it is the journeys you go on with him. You take a guy like (Jets linebacker) Darron Lee. I saw a bunch of his stuff on twitter, we both show up and red-shirt our freshman year to he's now one of leaders on the Jets defense. Everybody he puts his hands on actually has an impact to, it's pretty incredible, and his repertoire of guys in the NFL I think kind of reflect who Urban is.” …
_For second-year running back Joe Mixon, he had a simple but powerful message Wednesday when he was asked about adjustments to stop the four-game losing streak.
“We’ve got to play harder. From offense to defense, special teams, we’ve got to play harder,” Mixon said. “We can’t just let people come in and try to do whatever they want. We’ve got to make more plays, week in and week out, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. All three phases go together. Like I said, we’ve got to play harder … I just feel like we go down, and when something happens it gets the best of us sometimes. And we can’t let that happen. Football is a long game, and we’ve just go to play each play like it’s our last.”