Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Friday that wide receiver A.J. Green has a bruised left knee and will miss at least three practices.
Green, who hurt the knee when he landed awkwardly after going up for a deep ball in Thursday’s first practice of training camp, said the injury was similar to the one he suffered in 2011 while catching a touchdown pass against Pittsburgh.
“Not as worse as that one, but similar,” Green said of the 2011 injury, which resulted in him missing only one game. “I was trying to keep my feet in and then I got off balance. I don’t know if something was under my foot or if it was a rock or something. I just went back and slipped.”
Green said an MRI revealed no structural damage.
“He has a knee bruise,” Lewis said. “He’s also got kind of an internal-bruise type of situation working, which is pretty mild. But he also has a little external bruise, from where he had the awkward fall on his knee.
“So he’s getting treatment and will be sore,” Lewis continued. “He won’t practice … 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 said he thought the worst at first.
“It was (scary) for me,” he said. “I felt it, but everything felt intact. I got up and walked off, so it’s fine. I’m glad it was early so I have time to rest it and get back in time for when it really matters.”
Fellow wide receiver Marvin Jones described seeing Green crumple and clutch his knee as “numbing.”
“You never want to see that happen, especially to a guy of A.J.’s caliber,” Jones said. “He’s so important to our team. When I saw him stand up and walk, I said ‘OK, OK, he’s good.’ That was everybody’s deal, just relief. It was kind of dead for a second, but it came back. When he got up everybody was happy.”
Cornerback Terence Newman was the one covering Green on the play.
“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. “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,” Newman added. “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.”
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden expressed his relief in the form of humor. When asked what he thought when he saw Green go down, Gruden said, “I was working on my resume and calling up all my arena guys.”
With Green watching practice in street clothes Friday, Jones and Mohamed Sanu lined up as wideouts with the first team. But the ripple effect was felt all the way through the position group, resulting in more reps for everyone, including Trotwood-Madison graduate Roy Roundtree, who caught several passes.
“We met with the other guys today, and I said ‘What a great opportunity for you,’” wide receivers coach James Urban said. “It’s not that they weren’t going to get reps, they’re just getting more reps.”