Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green expected to play vs. Texans

After missing essentially five games, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is expected to play in Week 16 against the Houston Texans.

It’s been a very disappointing season for the Cincinnati Bengals, with a  5-8-1 record, but they did win two games in a row before Sunday’s  24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Star wide receiver A.J. Green has missed basically the last five games with a torn right hamstring, but a return to limited practice last week pointed to his potential return to game action before the end of the season.

Prior to Sunday’s game against the Steelers, Green told CBS sideline reporter Evan Washburn he planned to play in Week 16 against the Houston Texans. Monday brought more positive news regarding Green’s return to action, from ESPN’s Bob Holtzman.

Despite being out for as long as he has, Green still leads the Bengals in receptions (66) and receiving yards (964) by fairly substantial margins over fellow wide receiver Brandon LaFell (51 catches for 665 yards). Being so close to a sixth straight 1,000-yard season to start his career is likely a big reason Green wants to play again this season, since the Bengals have no playoff implications beyond playing potential spoiler for the Texans and the Baltimore Ravens in their final two games.

Green was of course a great asset to his fantasy football owners (I among them) before he went down early in Week 11. Now it’s championship week in a lot of leagues, so his return is good timing in some way, but it will be hard to rely on Green as a fantasy starter again due to the nature of his injury. Holtzman’s report also points to Green playing Saturday night barring “an unexpected setback”, which perfectly conveys the risk attached to having him in a fantasy lineup. Now that I’ve said that, go ahead and book Green for 10 catches, 150 yards and two touchdowns.

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