CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals decided to keep injured receiver A.J. Green on the active roster to open the season, hoping he can return from ankle surgery in less than eight weeks.
Green hurt his left ankle during the first training camp practice and had surgery, the second consecutive season he’s been slowed by a significant injury. Coach Zac Taylor said the receiver is making progress and the Bengals are willing to keep him on the active roster so he can return as soon as he’s cleared medically.
If the Bengals had placed him on injured reserve — opening a spot on the active roster — Green would have been forced to miss the first eight weeks of the season.
“We’re hopeful,” Taylor said. “Right now, everything is on schedule and we intend on him coming back the first half of the season.”
Green hurt the ankle during the opening practice of camp in Dayton, landing awkwardly after cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick bumped into the star receiver while breaking up a pass. He had surgery a few days later. Green also missed half of last season with an injured right toe that required surgery, but he was fully healed by the start of camp.
As part of their moves to reach the 53-man roster limit Saturday, the Bengals put cornerback Darqueze Dennard on an injury list that will sideline him for at least six weeks. He had arthroscopic knee surgery in March and missed the preseason.
The 2014 first-round pick is Cincinnati’s top slot cornerback. He was fourth on the team with 67 tackles last season, and he chose to stay on a one-year deal rather than become a free agent.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was Andy Dalton’s backup last season, went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Fourth-round pick Ryan Finley won the No. 2 job during the preseason. Undrafted Jake Dolegala from Central Connecticut State also made the roster. Dolegala was 27 of 41 for 253 yards in the final preseason game against the Colts.
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