On Monday, Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said the ninth-year receiver will not play in Sunday’s game at Baltimore, which means the earliest he could make his debut would be in Week 7 against Jacksonville.
Taylor said that while Green will not be taking any snaps against the defense, he hopes to see the receiver start going through individual drills as the timetable for a return gets closer.
“You don’t just go into practice full-blown on your first day after being off for two months,” Taylor said. “There will come a time where we start working him into individual work and then ease him into practice.”
Green has been out since he injured ligaments in his right ankle during the first practice of the preseason.
Because he went through drills before the injury occurred, he was ineligible to be placed on the team’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list. That would have allowed the Bengals to keep open a 53-man roster spot while Green missed a minimum of six weeks, which is the current projected length of his absence.
At the end of the preseason, the Bengals opted not to place Green on injured reserve. While he did not give a specific timetable for his return, Taylor conceded they expected Green to be back within the first eight weeks of the season, the minimum absence for an IR stint.
On Monday, Taylor said there has been no setback for Green, who has missed 18 games over the past three seasons with various injuries. Last week, the receiver worked with the team’s training staff while he continued the rehab process.
“I watch him every day on the rehab field so I see him doing some good things,” Taylor said.
Green is currently in the final year of his contract with the Bengals. Taylor said negotiations on a potential new deal is something Cincinnati’s front office “continues to talk through,” adding that the process is the same for other players in similar situations.
The Bengals are winless and without two other key receivers. John Ross was placed on IR on Oct. 2 after he injured a sternoclavicular joint. Alex Erickson is in concussion protocol after he was knocked out of Cincinnati’s Week 5 loss to Arizona.