A.J. Green showed up Tuesday at the Freestore Foodbank wearing a walking boot to protect his right foot.
The Cincinnati Bengals star wideout said the boot, required after surgery following a season-ending toe injury, will be gone in about a week.
“Next step is I put on a shoe and I start bending it back more and moving it more,” Green said. “The biggest thing is it’s the offseason and we have time. We don’t have to rush anything. The biggest thing is getting range of motion back.”
The injury limited Green to the least productive season in his eight-year career — 46 catches, 694 yards and six touchdowns.
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The Bengals were 5-3 in 2018 when Green was healthy and on the field. They won just one of the eight games Green missed (counting the Denver tilt when he left in the first half).
Green could only watch in December as the season spiraled, culminating with Coach Marvin Lewis and the team parting ways following the regular-season ending loss at Pittsburgh.
“It was tough,” Green said. “He brought so much good to this city and to this team. He’s a great coach. I wish him the best. He put us in a great position. We’ve got a lot of talent, we’ve drafted well. It’s next man up. It’s a sad story, but I guess it was time.”
The Bengals are set to hire Los Angeles Rams offensive assistant Zac Taylor following the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Green said he doesn’t know anything about Taylor or what the future will hold – the Bengals can’t officially announce Taylor’s hiring or comment until after the Rams and Patriots play – but acknowledged change has created a good feeling among the team.
“I’m very excited,” Green said. “We’ve got a new spark, made some changes. It’s going to be fun.
“It will definitely be a big change, more change than I’m used to. Coach Lewis has been here my first eight years. It’s all I know. It’s going to be tough not having him. But it’s that spark we needed I guess, so we’ll see how it goes.”
On Tuesday, Green and former Bengals players David Fulcher and Jim Breech helped members of the Wyoming High School undefeated state-champion football team pack lunches for the needy at a distribution center on Tennessee Avenue. Campbell’s donated 25,000 cans of soup on behalf of the Bengals.
“It’s unbelievable just to come here and be a part of this for our city to feed so many kids and homeless people,” Green said. “I love to be a part of it.”
Soon Green’s recovery, estimated to be at least a four-month process when he had surgery in December, will take another step. Green didn’t offer specifics about his availability for OTAs and minicamp. But he said he’ll be ready when it counts.
“Whenever the first game is I’ll be 100 percent,” he said. “The first regular season game.”