It was exactly one month ago that A.J. Green was carted off of the field after injuring his hamstring. The team quickly feared that they had lost their best player for the rest of the season, but an MRI showed that the hamstring strain wasn’t as serious as they initially thought. Scans showed a grade 2 strain, which means that there is a partial tear to the hamstring but not a complete tear. Surgery is not necessary for this injury, so Green has been rehabbing for the last month to strengthen the hamstring and get his range of motion back.
The optimal recovery time for Green’s injury is closer to eight weeks, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t try to play sooner than that; it just means that in order for him to be fully healthy it will take around two months. Green is expected to return to practice on Wednesday and there remains a chance he can suit up on Sunday against the Steelers.
The Inside Injuries algorithm still has him at high injury risk and poor Health Performance Factor, making him a “don’t start” receiver this week. Even if he does end up playing, he may be more of a decoy as he works his way back and improves his conditioning. Because the Bengals won’t make the playoffs, the safest route would be to shut Green down for the season, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. All you Fantasy owners who patiently held onto Green may need to keep him on the bench for another week or two and hope he can contribute in Week 17. As Green returns to practice and gets closer to playing his numbers should improve, but he will need to slowly work his way back. Hamstring injuries have a tendency to recur if they aren’t fully healed, and an injury lingering into the offseason won’t be a good thing for Green.