Still no timetable on A.J. Green's return

CINCINNATI -- As expected, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is sitting out this weekend's practices with a knee bruise. But there's still no timetable on when Green will come back.

"We don't know yet," Green said Sunday. "We're not going to rush it. We have time, so we're going to play it by ear. But it's feeling much better now."

Green, one of the best young receivers in the league and the Bengals' top player, put a scare into the team and its fan base Thursday when he injured his knee on a deep ball drill in the first practice of training camp. An MRI revealed no structural damage.

The Bengals ruled out Green for this weekend's padded practices, but haven't projected his status beyond that. When Green hyperextended his knee two years ago, he was sidelined for 10 days.

"I'm not going to test it out no time soon," Green said. "We're just going to wait it out. The swelling is down, so it's all good."

Is there a chance Green could sit out the preseason opener in Atlanta in 11 days?

"I don't know," Green said. "We'll see."

It's understandable that the Bengals are taking a very cautious approach in dealing with Green's injury. The bottom line is the Bengals need him to be healthy for the regular-season opener in Chicago in 42 days.

Green is on the cusp of being among the elite receivers in the NFL. Last season, Green finished seventh in the NFL in catches (97), 10th in receiving yards (1,350), and fourth in touchdown catches (11). His seven receptions over 40 yards led the league.