The Bengals’ A.J. Green avoided what could have been a lengthy suspension. As a model NFL citizen, he’ll only receive a fine for his Week 9 actions.
After suffering a complete dismantling by the Jacksonville Jaguars, there was one thing the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t need. Losing A.J. Green to a suspension, after his MMA-style brawl with Jalen Ramsey would have been another serious blow. But, the NFL decided to toss the Bengals a bone and spare Green the agony of serving time away from his team.
If you watched the Week 9 battle between the Bengals and Jaguars, the highlight of the game was the back-and-forth struggle between Green and Ramsey.
The Bengals Pro Bowl receiver was blanketed most of the day by Ramsey, but was able to get free on a few routes. Andy Dalton missed Green on a deep pattern, early in the game, that could have helped keep the catfight closer.
Looking back, that may have been part of the problem that caused Green to snap and put Ramsey in a sleeper hold.
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When Ramsey decided to shove Green after a play was over, A.J. politely maneuvered behind the cornerback and took him down. The resulting chaos stopped the game while officials decided what to do. While most of the problem seemed to point to a one-sided judgment, the decision was made to eject both players. A chorus of boos could be heard at EverBank Field, as fans disagreed with the ruling.
The end result is justified
At first glance, the melee on the field would seem to point directly at the two players involved. Green is usually a mild-mannered and humble man, on and off the field. But, Ramsey has been known to trash talk until he sets up residence in his opponents head.
It’s all a part of the game. The mental and physical go together. But, in this instance, Green has some heavy backing. Paul Dehner Jr. tweeted a response from referee Brad Allen.
Then there’s the backing of a certain player from the Steelers.
When Antonio Brown is onboard with something dealing with the Bengals franchise, it’s time to take heed.
Lack of balls thrown his way, the status of the Bengals and the pressure of Marvin Lewis asking that he be more vocal…it’s enough to make the best of us snap.
Green has no prior run-ins with the league and should be considered a model citizen. The only other major incident that comes to mind is the Bengals-Steelers matchup in 2015. After catching a touchdown pass from AJ McCarron, he punted the football into the stands. That celebration cost him $11,576. Additionally, a prior fine was issued when he threw a football, during a Bengals-Seahawks matchup the same year. The league fined him $5,787 for the Week 1 incident. The current bill of sale for a first time fighting offense is $30,387.
With another must-win game against the Tennessee Titans this week, The Bengals need all hands on deck.