A.J. Green could make season debut vs. Ravens

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The long wait is almost over. A.J. Green is nearing a return to an NFL field.

Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor told reporters after practice Wednesday Green is day-to-day ahead of the team's Week 10 game against the division-leading Baltimore Ravens.

Earlier Wednesday, Taylor told reporters he thought Green would make his season debut Sunday. Green told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero before practice he felt better but still not quite like himself.

"It's a process," Green said. "I've just got to be completely healthy to where I can go out there and play at a high level. I can't risk hurting this thing again and setting myself back even further.

"So definitely, I've got to be smart. But it's a step in the right direction to where I can actually practice on Monday and did more stuff yesterday with no problem. So we'll see how that thing goes."

After walkthrough Wednesday, Green didn't feel right and sought treatment, which led to his change in status. The Benglas officially listed him as a DNP.

If Green can return Sunday, it would come at about the best time possible for the winless Bengals. The Ravens (6-2) are rolling after taking down the previously undefeated New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football and will present a tremendous challenge for the Bengals, who are starting rookie quarterback Ryan Finley for the first time in his career.

Green has missed the entirety of Cincinnati's season up to this point with an ankle injury suffered during training camp, and the Bengals have foundered in his absence, going half of the season without a win for their first-year coach Taylor. The struggle-filled campaign has also seen an internal dispute with starting left tackle Cordy Glenn, a benching of longtime starter Andy Dalton in favor of Finley, and even included talks of Green's potential departure via trade near the deadline.

With the Bengals at 0-8 and their playoff hopes essentially extinct, expediting Green's return to the field wouldn't seem wise. Green's desire to avoid risk is understandable, considering he has good football ahead of him beyond the forgettable 2019 season.

Without Green, the Bengals have managed to remain among the upper half of teams in passing yards per game (11th at 257.8 yards per game), but fall to the bottom fourth of the NFL when it comes to finding the end zone through the air. Only the Bears, Broncos, Jets and Browns -- three of the four having dealt with quarterback changes at least once this season -- have fewer passing touchdowns than Cincinnati.

Cincinnati's passing numbers are also fairly inflated thanks to the Bengals' league-worst rushing attack, which has forced them to pass on 69.2 percent of downs through eight games. Receiver Tyler Boyd leads the team in receiving yards with 536, 10.5 yards per reception, but has scored just once in 2019.

Though self-imposed, the Bengals will encounter their own quarterback change in Week 10 when Finley takes the field. He might find himself lucky enough to have Green lining up wide. They'll need him if they hope to have a legitimate chance against one of the NFL's hottest teams.

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