A.J. Green takes positive step for Bengals

CINCINNATI — A.J. Green took a positive step Thursday towards playing in Sunday’s AFC wild card game at Indianapolis when he was allowed limited physical activity during the Bengals’ practice. Green, who suffered a concussion in last Sunday’s 27-17 loss at Pittsburgh, went through team stretching, warmups and minimal individual drills before practice at the University of Cincinnati’s indoor bubble.

Green is still under the NFL’s concussion protocol and is scheduled to be evaluated by a neuropsychologist on Friday. He could be cleared for full practice activity then. He would still need to be examined and cleared by an independent neurologist in order to play against the Colts.

Green leads the Bengals with 69 catches for 1,041 yards and six touchdowns. He was voted to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl last week despite miss three games plus the majority of a fourth game with a turf toe injury.

Running back Cedric Peerman, who also suffered a concussion at Pittsburgh, also was cleared for some physical activity on Thursday.

Tight end Jermaine Gresham, who missed Wednesday’s practice with a back injury, was not dressed for practice on Thursday.

PFWA AWARDS: The Cincinnati chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America announced Thursday that rookie running back Jeremy Hill has been named the Bengals 2014 MVP and that defensive tackle Devon Still has been named the recipient of this year’s Good Guy award.

Hill is the second rookie to win the MVP award, following quarterback Andy Dalton in 2011. Hill rushed for a team-high 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns. His rushing total was the best among all NFL rookies and was just five yards shy of Corey Dillon’s franchise rookie record. It included five 100-yard games. Hill is the first Bengals running back to have four games of 140 yards or more. 

In voting by the six writers who cover the team daily, Hill received four first-place votes, while offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and cornerback Adam Jones each received one. Balloting is done on a points system where writers list three players, and Hill finished with 22 points. Five different players received votes in the MVP balloting.

Still, who is in his third season, is the 14th recipient of the PFWA’s "Good Guy" award, given for professionalism and cooperation with media and understanding the media’s role in covering the team. Still’s story of perseverance and dedication to his daughter Leah as she battles pediatric cancer has been an inspiration throughout the NFL.

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Eight different players received votes for the Good Guy award, including defensive end Wallace Gilberry receiving one first-place vote, demonstrating the overall appreciation and commitment the team has for its relationship with the media.

ED BLOCK AWARD: Still was also named the Bengals recipient of the Ed Block Courage award on Thursday.

The award honors players who demonstrate commitment to the values of sportsmanship and courage. Each NFL team selects one player as its nominee. Still will be honored with other teams’ recipients at the annual awards banquet in Baltimore after the 2014 season.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE: The Bengals signed wide receiver Eric Ward to their practice squad Thursday. Ward takes the spot opened up when Cobi Hamilton was signed to the 53-man roster on Wednesday. Hamilton replaced Dane Sanzenbacher, who was placed on injured reserve with a concussion.