But A.J. Green looked like A.J. Green, which is the biggest positive to come out of Week 3 of the preseason for the Bengals.
On July 25, there were thoughts that Green severely hurt his knee in the first practice of training camp. Now, four full weeks removed, Green is showing no signs of a bruised keee. Green caught three passes for 42 yards, running his routes effortlessly in his preseason debut.
“I felt good. I felt 100 percent," Green said. "It’s great to be back out there. It seemed like a long time since I got hurt, but I knew I’d be back in plenty of time.”
You got the sense that Green was hitting his stride when he ran for 26 yards off a slant route in the third quarter. Then, Green proved he has fully recovered from the injury when he nearly made one of those athletic grabs that have made him one of the best young receivers in the game. He launched himself above safety Micah Pellerin for the catch in the corner of the end zone, but he couldn't get his second heel down.
"I thought I did but it was toe-heel," Green said. "It can’t be in one motion. They don’t count that. I need to work on just getting the toe down and just falling out of bounds."
This sets up a great season-opening matchup between Green and the Chicago Bears. Green's seven receptions over 40 yards led the league last season. The Bears, however, gave up just four passes over 40 yards in 2012. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers had fewer.