Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is back to being fully healthy after two injury-plagued seasons and he is grateful to be able to return to the field. Green, who made seven consecutive Pro Bowl appearances between 2011 and 2017, missed the whole last season due to an injury.
"My body feels great. My legs are very fresh, and I'm pretty sure I'll be out there running all over the place," Green said, per the team's website. "I don't know how long my wind is going to last, but I'll get out when I get tired and hop back in after a couple plays."
Green, the fourth overall pick of the 2011 NFL draft, has spent his entire career with the Bengals and he has missed everything related to the game while sidelined. "That's the biggest thing I miss is the grind, my teammates, the camp, the practices and the stuff like that leading up to the game.
It's been a long time," Green said. I'm very excited. The last two years have been rough just not being a part of the team. "I'm just happy to be going to practice and being around the guys, feeling tired.
I'm not taking anything for granted any more. I love the grind. I missed the grind so much. I'm just happy to be with my brothers again."
Green says he is not done proving himself
Over the last decade, Green has been one of the best receivers in the NFL but he still wants to put up good stats and show his quality.
"For me it's always proving myself. I know that I've put in each and every season to come out there and play at a high level," Green said. "You can't control these injuries, but everybody knows my body of work when I'm on the field.
No matter what anybody else says I just go out there and play my game and it speaks for itself." Green also said the team didn't to rush his comeback. "We all had communication to make sure I felt 100 percent.
For me, I had to tell my mind to just relax," Green said. "Just be healthy enough to be ready for Week 1 and not push too much. That's what I did, and I feel great now. "It's just been a rocky road, but I wouldn't have it no other way, man.
I think it just keeps pushing me to be the best, fight through adversity and just keep pushing. That's who I am."