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Bengals WR A.J. Green won't play in final game vs Ravens
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By JOE KAY
CINCINNATI (AP) Receiver A.J. Green won't play in the Bengals' final game on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, leaving him shy of an NFL record.
Green severely strained his right hamstring on the first pass thrown his way during a loss to Buffalo on Nov 20.
He returned to practice a few weeks ago and expected to play Saturday night in Houston, but was held out after a scan of the leg found the injury hadn't fully healed. The Bengals lost 12-10 .
Coach Marvin Lewis said on Wednesday that Green is done for the season.
Green was in the middle of the best season in his career when he hurt the hamstring while being tackled after trying to make a catch.
He was voted into his sixth straight Pro Bowl despite missing essentially seven games, and will likely finish as the Bengals' top receiver with 66 catches for 964 yards.
"I think you feel for the guy, that he didn't get a chance to build on a season that obviously was going to be a tremendous one for him," left tackle Andrew Whitworth said.
"But you also commend him for what he did, for the season he did have. He continues to work, he continues to get better every time he steps on the football field and continues to show that no one really knows the ceiling of A.J. Green."
Green was among the league leaders in catches and yards when he got hurt. He finishes 36 yards shy of joining Randy Moss as the only NFL players to top 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first six seasons.
The Bengals (5-9-1) will wrap up the season without Green and tight end Tyler Eifert, out with a back injury. The Bengals are second-to-last in the NFL in fourth-quarter scoring, averaging only 3.9 points per game. They've managed only one touchdown and 18 points total in the fourth quarters of their past seven games.
Without Green and Eifert to cover, opposing teams have clamped down on the running game. The Ravens (8-7) can do the same in a game that has no playoff implications for either team. Baltimore has the second-stingiest run defense in the league.
"It'd be nice to have everyone healthy," quarterback Andy Dalton said. "There were a lot of young guys that played. They hadn't been here a whole lot. At times, we had three rookie receivers out there."
NOTES: Lewis declined to talk about his future. He's under contract through 2017 and has indicated he plans to return next season. ... LB Vontaze Burfict was held out of practice on Wednesday as he recovers from a concussion that sidelined him for the game in Houston. ... RB Jeremy Hill (knee) and TE Tyler Kroft (knee/ankle) also were held out of practice. ... CB Adam "Pacman" Jones (ankle), LB Vincent Rey (hamstring) and Whitworth (biceps) were limited in practice. ... The Bengals are 5-6 at Paul Brown Stadium since the middle of last season, including a first-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Three of the six losses were against the Steelers. The Ravens have dropped their past four games at Paul Brown Stadium.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Updated December 28, 2016