Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green left today’s game against the Bills in the first quarter after suffering an injury, and a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) that Green is dealing with a “significant” hamstring tear, and the Bengals fear Green may be lost for the season, according to Geoff Hobson of the team’s website (Twitter link). Green will undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, but Rapoport says that the situation is “not good.”
Losing Green for any amount of time could signify a death knell for the Bengals, who now sit at 3-6-1 after narrowly falling to Buffalo earlier today. By any indication, Green is Cincinnati’s best offensive player, as he ranks second in the league with 964 receiving yards while adding four touchdowns. With Green sidelined, the Bengals will be forced to turn to an uninspiring set of wide receiver options, a list that includes Brandon LaFell, James Wright, and rookies Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson, and Cody Core. If forced to add a pass-catcher from its practice squad, Cincinnati could look at either Jake Kumerow or Alonzo Russell.
Despite the Bengals’ unimpressive record, the club is still in playoff contention thanks to the poor play of the rest of the AFC North. A wild card berth is probably out of the question, but even after today’s loss, Cincinnati sits only 1.5 games behind the Ravens and Steelers in the division standings. The Bengals will have the opportunity to close that gap as the season closes, as four of the team’s final six games come against AFC North foes.
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