A.J. Green healthy, has limited role in Bengals minicamp

Tue Jun 11 3:49pm ET
By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton throws during an NFL football practice Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton throws during an NFL football practice Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Cincinnati Bengals President Mike Brown watches the team practice from the stands during an NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green (18) catches a pass during an NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green catches a pass during an NFL football practice Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


CINCINNATI (AP) A.J. Green ran a deep route along the left sideline and caught Andy Dalton's pass in stride, a sight the Bengals desperately missed during their last-place season.

Green has fully recovered from surgery on his right big toe, the most promising development in an offseason of regrouping. He was limited in the first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday, but only because the new coaching staff didn't want to push him too hard.

''A.J.'s been cleared to do everything,'' first-year coach Zac Taylor said. ''But we're just going to put him out in individual (drills) and let him run around a little bit and not do any of the team stuff. I know what to expect from A.J., so it will be good just to see him catch balls from the quarterbacks. But we're not going to give him too much work.''

Green missed nearly half of last season with a torn ligament in the toe . He finished with 46 catches for 694 yards - both career lows - and six touchdowns. The Bengals also lost Dalton for the last five games with a turn thumb ligament.

A last-place finish in the AFC North prompted the Bengals to fire coach Marvin Lewis and hire Taylor from the Rams . The offense finished last in the league in 2017 and near the bottom again last season.

The main focus for the offense in minicamp is learning yet another new system. Brian Callahan is the Bengals' third offensive coordinator in the last three years, a dizzying rate of change that has contributed to the poor showings.

Although Green hasn't been able to fully participate in offseason workouts, Dalton thinks their eight seasons together will compensate for the missed time.

''I understand how A.J. runs routes,'' Dalton said. ''There's obviously going to be some new stuff that we're doing now, but it's easier with guys like that. It's easier with guys I've thrown to and I know how they work.''

Tight end Tyler Eifert was held out of practice as he recovers from a broken ankle that sidelined him for the last 12 games. He signed another one-year deal. Eifert has been limited to 14 games over the last three years because of injuries to his back and ankle.

TOP PICK LIMITED

Left tackle Jonah Williams wore a jersey but didn't participate in the afternoon practice. Taylor said Williams, the 11th overall pick in the draft, got ''a little dinged-up'' during practice last week. It's unclear how long he'll be held out of practice.

NEW GUY

Guard John Jerry signed a day before minicamp, replacing second-year guard Rod Taylor, who was waived. Jerry has been with the Dolphins and Giants during his eight-year career, sitting out last season.

COACHES

Former Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson and cornerback Cortland Finnegan are this year's coaching interns as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program. Johnson was with the Bengals from 2008-11 and is currently the head coach at Betty Fairfax High School in suburban Phoenix. Finnegan spent 11 seasons with the Titans, Rams, Dolphins and Panthers.

Player Notes
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Andre Roberts Jun 13 11:53pm ET

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Matt Barkley Jun 13 10:53pm ET

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Cameron Meredith Jun 13 10:33pm ET

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Geronimo Allison Jun 13 10:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison is 'likely slated as the slot man' in three-receiver sets, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Fantasy Spin: Allison had a productive start to last season before suffering an injury, and while Marquez Valdes-Scantling may have the inside track on the No. 2 receiver job, the Green Bay passing attack could support three viable fantasy options. Consider Allison a WR4 with upside.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jun 13 10:03pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been lining up across from WR Davante Adams in all packages during minicamp.

Fantasy Spin: It sounds like Valdes-Scantling has the inside track to the No. 2 receiver job. It remains to be seen if he will take the role and run with it, but the upside that comes with being one of Aaron Rodgers' top targets makes him a WR4 candidate.

Robby Anderson Jun 13 9:23pm ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson (undisclosed) did not practice Thursday, June 13, because of an undisclosed injury.

Fantasy Spin: The nature of Anderson's injury remains unclear, but unless it lingers into training camp, fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned. Anderson started to connect with Sam Darnold on some big plays late last season, and he's a WR3 candidate in 2019 as the top option in the passing attack.

Leonard Fournette Jun 13 9:03pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette will be a big part of the passing game with QB Nick Foles in 2019, according to ESPN's Michael DiRocco.

Fantasy Spin: Fournette has just 48 career catches for 487 yards and two touchdowns over the first two seasons of his career. Foles most memorably hooked up with RB Corey Clement four times for 100 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LII. Fournette could be a huge steal if he continues to go in the third round of PPR drafts.

Marlon Mack Jun 13 8:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack is being viewed by head coach Frank Reich as the team's workhorse in the backfield, according to Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star.

Fantasy Spin: Mack rushed for 908 yards and nine touchdowns last season while adding 103 yards and one touchdown as a receiver. Nyheim Hines should handle the majority of third-down duties in 2019, but Mack could still return plenty of value as a high-end RB2.

LeSean McCoy Jun 13 7:43pm ET

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy expects to maintain a large role in the offense in his age-31 season in 2019. 'I'm a type of guy, I thrive off of having a big name. So when guys come to my team, they're curious to see, 'How is LeSean McCoy? Is he still a good player?' I mean, I'm a dominant player. I think that speaks for itself. But I'll be in the same role as last year. And I look forward to putting some numbers up and bouncing back from that last season,' McCoy said Tuesday, June 12.

Fantasy Spin: McCoy totaled just 752 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns last season. Both numbers were career worsts as he played in 14 games but made just 13 starts. He remains No. 1 on the Bills' depth chart, but he'll be competing against veteran RB Frank Gore and third-round rookie Devin Singletary. He's fallen into RB4 territory but could prove to be a steal at a mid-round price.

Darius Slay Jun 13 6:43pm ET

Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay hasn't committed to reporting to next month's training camp without a new contract. 'Will I be there?' Slay said in an episode of The Pride Podcast released Thursday, June 13. 'We'll see. Time will tell.' Slay is set to carry a cap hit of $12.55 million in 2019 on the second-to-last year of a four-year, $48-million deal signed in 2016.

Dallas Goedert Jun 13 6:33pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert has looked ready to make a second-year leap into stardom in 2019, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Fantasy Spin: Goedert, who caught 33 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie after being chosen 49th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, will remain behind Zach Ertz on the Eagles' depth chart as a sophomore. He could prove to be a viable TE2 in deeper leagues and would be an instant must-add should Ertz miss any time.

David Moore Jun 13 6:23pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR David Moore has made a huge leap this offseason in his knowledge of the position and in his ability to play multiple spots, according to head coach Pete Carroll on Thursday, June 13.

Fantasy Spin: Moore caught just 26 of 53 targets last season but turned those into 445 yards and five touchdowns. He projects behind Tyler Lockett and rookie D.K. Metcalf on the depth chart, but he's worth a late-round pick as a WR5 as the Seahawks begin life without Doug Baldwin.

Theo Riddick Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick is not guaranteed to make the team out of training camp, in the opinion of the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett.

Kerryon Johnson Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson finished with 32 catches in 10 games as a rookie in 2018, and the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett could see him doubling that production in 2019 if the team decides they don't need to take Johnson off the field on third down.

Demarcus Lawrence Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones (hip) and DE DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) are expected to begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

DeSean Jackson Jun 13 5:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson has reportedly built a strong connection and sense of timing with QB Carson Wentz throughout the spring, according to Mike Kaye of NJ.com.

Lamar Jackson Jun 13 5:43pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson indicated he may work with noted 'quarterback guru' Tom House over the summer and confirmed he will throw to his teammates in either Baltimore or somewhere in Florida in July.

Travin Dural Jun 13 4:53pm ET

New Orleans Saints WR Travin Dural was waived Thursday, June 13.

C.J. Prosise Jun 13 4:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise (hamstring) reportedly left practice with a tight hamstring Thursday, June 13, according to head coach Pete Carroll.