A.J. Green faces fine, no suspension from Bengals’ implosion
CINCINNATI (AP) — Receiver A.J. Green faces a fine but no suspension from his on-field fight with Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the defining moment of the Bengals’ biggest meltdown of the season.
Green grabbed Ramsey around the neck, threw him to the ground and punched him in the helmet late in the first half of a 23-7 loss in Jacksonville on Sunday. He and Ramsey — who started the altercation by pushing Green to the ground — were ejected from the game.
Green is known as one of the Bengals’ most even-tempered players. He apologized after the game for his outburst, prompted by Ramsey’s trash-talking and his shove. Both sat out the second half of the game, and neither was suspended on Monday.
Coach Marvin Lewis declined to discuss Green’s actions after the game and then again on Monday, after he’d had a chance to watch the video.
“He’s disappointed,” Lewis said. “He’s apologized for his actions.”
There were several in-game altercations over the weekend. The NFL reviewed them and announced Monday that Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans was suspended one game for leveling Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore from behind during a skirmish. Spokesman Michael Signora said nobody else was suspended, but players could be fined later in the week.
Without Green in the second half, the Bengals (3-5) did next-to-nothing on offense. He’ll be available when they play at Tennessee (5-3) on Sunday, the second of three straight road games.
Given how things went in Jacksonville, it may not matter much. The Bengals had one of the worst offensive showings in club history, generating only 29 yards rushing, eight first downs and 148 total yards. They had the ball for less than 20 minutes and ran only 37 plays.
In the second half, Cincinnati had only seven plays that gained yards. They also had two holding penalties by the offensive line, seven plays that lost yards, one that went for no gain, and six incomplete passes.
“It was as frustrating a second half as I can remember calling a game from the sideline,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said Monday. “I didn’t add them up, but the feeling is we had as many plays go backward as go forward.”
The offensive line struggled again to open holes for the running game and to protect Andy Dalton, who was 10 of 18 for 136 yards and was sacked twice.
The Bengals have scored only 129 points, tied with the Giants for third-fewest in the league behind Miami (116) and Cleveland (119). They’re on pace to score 258, which would be their sixth-fewest since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
The previous time they scored at such a low pace was 2008, three years before Dalton and Green arrived through the draft.
Lewis said RB Jeremy Hill suffered an ankle injury during practice on Saturday, which is why he was sidelined for the game. Hill wasn’t listed on any injury reports leading up to the game.
KICKERS ROUND 2
Randy Bullock was inactive for the game because of a stiff back that bothered him all week. The Bengals signed former Dolphins kicker Marshall Koehn on Saturday, and decided to go with him when Bullock’s back was still bothering him pregame in Jacksonville. Koehn made his extra-point attempt. The Bengals hope to have a better idea of Bullock’s availability early this week.
Lewis said first-round pick John Ross is physically able to play a game, but the receiver is still trying to catch up after missing most of the offseason practices because of shoulder surgery and a knee injury. Asked if he expects Ross to be able to contribute in the season’s second half, Lewis said, “Oh, I hope so.”