A.J. Green updates progress following toe surgery

A.J. Green is on the road to recovery and provided an update to what has been an uncertain injury situation.

Green's toe injury, which forced him to miss Weeks 10-12 and ultimately cut his season short after an early departure in Week 13, still requires a boot following surgery. The next stage involves removing it for more traditional footwear.

Baby steps (pun unintended).

"Next step is I put on a shoe and I start bending it back more and moving it more," Green said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The biggest thing is it's the offseason and we have time. We don't have to rush anything. The biggest thing is getting range of motion back."

The note about not having to rush anything is important, because Cincinnati desperately needed Green to get back on the field in 2018. In games in which Green played before the injury, the Bengals went 5-3. Without him, they went 1-6. His brief appearance in Week 13's loss to Denver, in which he caught one pass for seven yards before departing due to injury, ended in a 24-10 loss to the Broncos.

His final stat line was the least productive of his eight-year career: 46 catches, 694 yards and six touchdowns.

Furthermore, Cincinnati's offense was a nightmare without Green. After posting 27 or more points in each of their five wins with Green, the Bengals never scored more than 21 just once from Weeks 10-17. Cincinnati also lost quarterback Andy Dalton for the season in Week 12, compounding issues.

The result was a season finished by Jeff Driskel, Tyler Boyd and Cody Core, among others. Marvin Lewis, seemingly immovable from his post as head coach, parted ways with the Bengals.

Simply, Green's availability is of paramount importance. His path back to the field is one to continue monitoring, especially as we near the slower portion of the NFL calendar.