The Bengals didn’t even make it through their first practice before losing star receiver A.J. Green. An MRI revealed torn ligaments in Green’s left ankle, sidelining him for six to eight weeks, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
That puts the season opener in doubt for Green, who played only nine games last season.
Receiver Tyler Boyd pointed to the turf at Welcome Stadium at the University Dayton, calling it “terrible.”
“Yeah, the turf was terrible. The turf was terrible,” Boyd said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I couldn’t run any routes out there. I’m falling all over the ground. It was bad. It was rocks, pebbles out there. Man, it was somewhere we shouldn’t have been. I’m not trying to say any excuses, but it is what it is.”
Team officials did a site survey beforehand and OK’d the field, according to Dragon.
“We had no issues with the field when we got out there,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “We just kept it at a limited practice. We were out there for an hour and the field didn’t cause any injuries. We had one guy who fell down [Green] and landed on his ankle funny and that’s the extent of it.”
The injury comes at a bad time for Green. The receiver is in the final year of his deal, making $12 million in base salary and counting $15.2 million against the salary cap in 2019.
He and the team remain “far apart” on a new deal, per Dragon.
Green has six 1,000-yard seasons in his eight seasons but had a career-low 694 receiving yards in 2018.