Cincinnati Bengals: Relax, A.J. Green Not Playing in Preseason Opener is No Big Deal

By Ryan Heckman
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, it is finally that time of the year. NFL Preseason football is fully underway and the regular season is right around the corner. For teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s a time to fine tune those things that lost them an opportunity to continue postseason play a year ago.

In pursuit of another playoff berth, the Bengals used the majority of their draft picks on offense to help quarterback Andy Dalton make the most of his talent and further his development. Most notably, Tyler Eifert, will have a huge impact on the offense in 2013 and will give Dalton another big-play type of player opposite of A.J. Green.

Speaking of the Pro Bowl wideout, he sat out Cincinnati’s preseason opener Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons with a knee bruise suffered in practice. The most effective guys on Thursday — who figure to get ample playing time, at least — were rookie running back Giovani Bernard and tight end Jermaine Gresham.

While Bernard should get plenty of opportunities in the passing game, the Bengals will of course need their offensive juggernaut back for the regular season — and they should have no problem doing so.

For this reason, it’s not a big deal that Green sat out Thursday night’s game. Some even thought that if this were a playoff-caliber type of game he would have suited up. That tells me he is going to be just fine by the time the regular season starts.

Bengals fans need not worry about the status of Green, as tonight was just out of precautionary measure. Cincinnati is going to play it as safe as possible with Green in the preseason, as they should be. He’ll be ready to take on the Chicago Bears in week one in a season where he attempts to follow up an impressive 2012.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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