Go ahead, admit it. If you saw the Cincinnati Enquirer writer Joe Reedy's tweet last night, images of Kijana Carter started going through your head. Reedy's tweet concerned AJ Green, Cincinnati's rookie phenom, who left practice last night to be attended by trainers after suffering an apparent injury to his knee. For the Bengals, injuries ending the careers of star players have been a sad reality since the inception of the franchise.
Greg Cook was the Bengals start quarterback in 1969. Bill Walsh would ultimately refer to him as "the best quarterback I ever coached." Cook destroyed his right shoulder against Kansas City and was never again a factor.
In Super Bowl XXIII, all pro nose tackle Tim Krumrie broke his leg in the first quarter in one of the more gruesome scenes on a football field this side of Joe Theismann. His absence robbed the Bengals of their best run stopper as well as Krumrie's leadership for the remainder of the game which they lost to the 49'ers.
And of course, there's the the aforementioned Carter, the first overall pick in 1995 from Penn State. Carter was to be the offensive cornerstone of a rebuilt Bengals offense. In his first series as a pro in an exhibition game in Detroit, Carter blew out his knee. He would miss the entire 1995 season. When he returned, he was a shell of his former self and never fulfilled his potential in the NFL.
Fortunately, AJ Green returned from the locker room last night, walking under his own power. He had a sleeve on his leg, but no ice or crutches. Both Green and head coach Marvin Lewis said the injury was nothing serious and expect Green to be back in action for today's final practice at Georgetown.
So go ahead, Bengal fans. Exhale. AJ Green is going to be alright… for now.
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