Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green is expected to undergo season-ending surgery on torn ligaments in his toe that will sideline him three to four months, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Monday.
But he is expected to have a full recovery and be ready for OTAs, the source said.
Green initially injured the toe on Oct. 28 near the end of a game against the Buccaneers. After seeing a specialist, he avoided surgery but missed three games while the toe healed. However, Green went down less than two full quarters into his return in Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Broncos.
An emotional Green was carted off the field after a noncontact injury. Green took two steps off the line of scrimmage and suddenly pulled up, grabbing at the front of his foot as he went to the ground. He could not put weight on his foot as he was assisted to the bench, where he slammed his helmet down in frustration. Green was helped to a cart, and he yelled out several times before covering his face with his hands as he was driven off.
Green was in the locker room on Monday morning wearing a walking boot but did not speak to reporters.
Green insisted last week that he had no thoughts of shutting it down for the season. He didn't get that choice in 2016 when he tried to come back from a hamstring tear and had his comeback vetoed by ownership. He won't get a choice now.
On Sunday night after Green's injury, teammate Dre Kirkpatrick admitted it might be best for Green's health to finish the season on the sideline.
"I hope he can get better," Kirkpatrick said. "I hope we can figure out a way. But at the end of the day, I feel like his safety is first. I feel like he's a guy we're invested in, and I heard what he said the other day, but, man, we're going to need him for the future."
If Green is placed on injured reserve this week, he will be the 15th Bengals player put on that list since training camp. The Bengals have been gutted by injuries. Starting quarterback Andy Dalton and starting tight end Tyler Eifert are out for the season, along with starting middle linebacker Preston Brown and defensive linemen Carl Lawson and Ryan Glasgow.
The Bengals have dropped six of their past eight games and are currently in a four-game losing streak.