With their playoff hopes dimming, the Cincinnati Bengals are shutting down their star wide receiver.
A.J. Green was placed on injured reserve after aggravating his toe injury on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday. ESPN first reported the news. The team later made the news official.
Green is expected to have surgery but will have a doctor's appointment Tuesday morning to determine whether to do so. Green would have a roughly four-month recovery if he does have surgery and would be ready for training camp at the very latest, with appearances in OTAs and minicamp likely, Rapoport added.
Green missed three games in November with the injury and returned in Week 13 to give it a go. But the wideout was carted off in the middle of Cincinnati's loss to Denver on Sunday after recording just one catch for seven yards.
Green had his least productive year as a pro in 2018 due to his injury. The receiver finished with 46 receptions on 77 targets, 694 yards and six touchdowns.
The Bengals struggled without Green this season. Cincinnati lost every game that Green missed and averaged 9.3 fewer points and 43.3 passing yards without him. The 5-7 Bengals, though still technically in the playoff hunt, don't have their starting QB or WR in tow, have lost six of their last seven games and still have away games against the Chargers and Steelers remaining on their schedule.
The 30-year-old receiver enters a long and interesting offseason. Green is owed around $15 million in 2019, the final season of a four-year extension signed in 2015. But the Bengals can choose to move on from the great albeit injury-prone receiver and save $12 million in salary-cap space.