A.J. Green's toe injury knocks him out for season; surgery required but Bengals WR to be back for OTAs

The Bengals' nightmare season keeps rolling along with new waves of bad news, as star wide receiver A.J. Green is going to miss the rest of the season. That's not shocking news -- Green was seen screaming and crying when he left the Bengals' loss to the Broncos on Sunday afternoon, but the injury is going to require surgery and will knock him out for a few months according to Adam Schefter of ESPN

Green suffered a groin injury earlier this year that knocked him out for several weeks of the season. He recently returned, with the Bengals easing him back in, only to deal with a toe injury against Denver that will end his season. 

According to Schefter, Green is set to have surgery on the torn ligaments in his toe and that will require him to miss between three and four months of action (stream Sunday's Bengals-Chargers game on CBS All Access or on fuboTV, try it for free).

Green, who will turn 31 this offseason, has played in just 35 games over the last three years. He actually managed to flirt with 1,000 receiving yards this season despite missing most of the year. Green caught 46 passes for 694 yards in nine games (really eight games). 

This will be just the second season of Green's career in which he didn't top 1,000 receiving yards. After starting his career with five straight 1,000-yard seasons, Green fell short in 2016 because of injuries. He bounced back in a big way last year and after a hot start to the season was derailed in late October. 

The belief, per Schefter, is that Green won't need to miss any offseason training activities as a result of the surgery and should be full speed ahead once the Bengals get going on the 2019 season. 

Green, drafted fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, is headed into the final year of his contract. It would be shocking if he was a cap casualty given his status with the Bengals and his production during his career. But there's at least a conversation to be had -- he has a $15 million cap hit and Cincinnati would save $12 million in cap space if they released him. 

In theory, Green could also make for an interesting trade target if the Bengals decided to blow everything up and decline to commit to an aging wide receiver. Green would be highly coveted, even if he would require a new contract once he was landed.

That seems like a very unlikely situation given how the Bengals operate but it's worth mentioning in the context of the injury. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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