Zac Taylor on A.J. Green: 'We are not trading that guy'

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has yet to play a game this season due to an ankle injury. But the injury hasn't prevented Green's name from being tossed into the mix with the trade deadline looming.

Bengals coach Zac Taylor, however, provided a definitive answer regarding the trade speculation Thursday.

"I've heard the speculation. We are not trading that guy," Taylor said, per The Athletic's Paul Dehner Jr.

In a story posted earlier Thursday on the Bengals' official website, Green said his phone has been buzzing since his name first circulated in trade rumors.

"I tell everybody I haven't heard anything," Green said. "I don't fantasize about anything like that. I'm just trying to get healthy and go from there."

Green was limited at practice Thursday -- his first practice since July 27. He won't be playing Sunday against the Ravens, but today's work could indicate Green is on track to return Week 7.

Green, who had said he's "prepared for anything" with the Oct. 29 trade deadline approaching, made it clear he wants to stay with Cincinnati for the long haul, regardless if the team is in the midst of a rebuild. The 31-year-old isn't plotting to leave Cincy for a flashier squad. Rather, Green wants to model his career after Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

"That's just not who I am. I'm loyal to the person who gave me my shot," Green said. "They took care of Larry [Fitzgerald]. He's a Cardinal. No matter how many times they rebuild, he's a Cardinal. He's the only guy still there."

Earlier this week, Green's teammate cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said the Bengals will "fall apart" if the star receiver is dealt. Green has dealt with significant injuries over the past several seasons, but Kirkpatrick's emotional plea to keep Green signals how much the team needs him on and off the field.

Hopefully Taylor's definitive response will quell the Green trade rumors for now.

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