Bengals downgrade WR Green to doubtful

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Paul Brown Stadium.Photo: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Green's chances of returning to the lineup took a significant hit Saturday.

The Cincinnati Bengals downgraded Green to doubtful on Saturday, all but assuring the star receiver will sit out his third straight game due to a toe injury.

Green did not practice all week due to a toe injury, but coach Marvin Lewis said on Friday there was a chance the seven-time Pro Bowl selection would be able to practice Saturday.

Cincinnati will host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Browns safety Damarious Randall provided some bulletin-board material for the game by telling the Akron Beacon Journal: "If they don't have A.J., they're getting their (butt) beat."

Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (shoulder) also was downgraded to doubtful on Saturday. Like Green, he was listed as questionable after Friday's practice.

Green suffered the injury in a 37-34 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 28. Although he avoided surgery, initial estimates were that Green would miss at least three games.

Green has 45 receptions for 687 yards and a team-leading six touchdown catches for the Bengals, who are among five teams tied with 5-5 records in the chase for the AFC's final playoff slot.

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Green has eclipsed 100 yards receiving in a franchise-best 32 games in his career. He has 601 receptions for 8,900 yards and 63 touchdowns in 110 contests.