CINCINNATI (AP) — An MRI found that Bengals All-Pro receiver A.J. Green has a bruised knee that will force him to miss several days of practice.
Green hurt his left knee near the end of Cincinnati’s first practice of training camp on Thursday, overextending his left knee as he tried to make a sideline catch. Green said an MRI that found no structural damage.
At first, he feared that it was a significant injury. A trainer examined the knee, and Green got up and walked off the field.
“It was (frightening) for me,” Green said on Friday. “I felt it, but everything felt intact. I got up and walked off, so it’s fine.”
Coach Marvin Lewis said Green suffered a bruise inside the knee.
“He’s getting treatment and will be sore,” Lewis said. “He won’t practice today, tomorrow and likely this weekend at all. Then we’ll go from there, when he’s ready.
“At this point, I don’t see out in the future that being very long. But we’ll take our time with it and let him get right. He’ll be fine, hopefully very quickly.”
Green wore a wrap on the left knee and walked stiffly and slowly on Friday. He watched the first hour and 15 minutes of practice wearing a Bengals baseball cap.
The Bengals’ most valuable player hasn’t missed much time because of injuries. He hyperextended his right knee while making a touchdown catch in the end zone against Pittsburgh as a rookie and missed one game.
Green said the injury on Thursday reminded him of the one his rookie season.
“When I felt it, it felt just like the one against Pittsburgh,” he said.
Cornerback Terence Newman was covering Green on a deep pass along the sideline that drifted out of bounds. Newman gave Green a light push as he tried to get away from him. Green planted his left foot awkwardly, hurting his knee.
“I saw that the ball was going to sail out of bounds so I tried to pull up and just go behind him,” Newman said on Friday. “But he’s the type of receiver that tries to make every single catch possible. So I just kept on running and I came back and saw him on the ground. I didn’t know what happened to him.
“It was a scary moment, for sure. That’s one of those guys that if he threw up on the sideline, I’m nervous. Now I’m seeing him grab his knee, so I’m really nervous. Sounds like he’s going to be good, though, so that was a breath of fresh air.”
Players stopped and watched Green get his knee examined on the sideline.
“It’s awful no matter who it is,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. “When it’s A.J., it kind of takes the wind out of everybody. It was silent there for a few seconds.”
Green said he won’t change his all-out style in practice when he returns. He’s known for making amazing catches during practice, setting an example for the younger receivers.
“That’s how I’m programmed,” Green said. “That’s what I know.”
Although Lewis has urged his players to stay on their feet to avoid injury during the workouts, he doubts that Green will throttle back on his effort in practice.
“He made one catch this spring (during workouts) that was the most incredible catch I’ve ever seen,” Lewis said. “He stretched out for the ball, put his left hand down, rolled and came up on his feet. And he was about parallel with the ground, a foot above the ground. So he’s kind of put together that way.”
Earlier in that same practice on Thursday, Green and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick slipped at the end of the field and fell hard while contesting a pass in the end zone. Lewis said there was nothing wrong with the field, which the team uses for workouts during the season.
“I don’t have any concerns,” Lewis said. “It’s part of football. We just have to try and stay on our feet as best we can.”
NOTES: The Bengals will wear shoulder pads for practice for the first time on Saturday, then work out in full pads on Sunday and Monday. … The Bengals severely restricted photographers’ access to the practice field on Friday, limiting them to two spots well beyond the back of the end zones and one designated row of the bleachers. Fans with cellphones and cameras were free to roam the sideline and take photos and video. The club relented and changed the policy after 45 minutes, giving the media equal access. … LB James Harrison dropped in coverage and broke up a pass during the workout, drawing a loud cheer.
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