A.J. Green trade rumors: Bengals head coach Zac Taylor makes it clear where the team stands

With a new head coach at the controls, multiple recent injuries and an expiring contract, there was always a possibility that seven-time Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green would find himself traded.

CBS Sports' NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported recently that the Bengals were expected to "begin fielding calls for a core group of key players" in the coming weeks, but that will not include Green, according to head coach Zac Taylor.

During a press conference on Thursday, the first-year head coach did not beat around the bush when it came to the availability of his best player.

"I've heard the speculation," Taylor told reporters, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. "We are not trading that guy." 

Earlier on Thursday, Green himself addressed speculation of a potential trade, telling the Bengals' official website he's aware of the possibility.

"I don't fantasize about anything like that," he said. "I'm just trying to get healthy and go from there."

"I'm prepared for anything, a trade's not going to change who I am. I'm still going to play. I'm still going to be A.J."

Green has missed the first five games of the season due to an ankle injury, and will again be out this Sunday against the divisional rival Baltimore Ravens. Green hurt himself on the first day of training camp, and while he has been making progress, it hasn't been enough for him to feel comfortable suiting up on Sundays.

The Bengals' star wideout did return to practice on Thursday, however, which is a good sign he could make his return to the field very soon. Cincinnati needs him back in the worst way, as Taylor's offense has failed to impress in the early going and fellow wideout John Ross was placed on injured reserve just last week. 

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