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Absence of Bengals wideout A.J. Green could be advantage for embattled Ravens secondary

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will not play Sunday, but Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs half-joked that he would not be shocked to see Green in uniform at M&T Bank Stadium.

"This is a miraculous league," Suggs said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. "They've got stuff that guys can get back pretty fast."

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Despite that diagnosis from Dr. Suggs, Green has already been ruled out due to the right hamstring he strained in the first quarter of Sunday's 16-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills. And his absence could be significant due to his success against the Ravens.

In eight meetings, Green has caught 41 passes for 726 yards, and his six touchdowns are tied for the most against an opponent. In Cincinnati's last visit to Baltimore on Sept. 27, 2015, he finished with 10 receptions for a career-high 227 yards and two scores.

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Ravens cornerback Shareece Wright acknowledged how crucial Green's absence could be.

"Whenever you don't have one of the best receivers in the league on the field, it always helps," he said. "So it's good. We can't complain about that."

The secondary's relief is likely heightened by the uncertain availability of cornerback Jimmy Smith, who has been bothered by a back injury. Smith missed Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys and did not practice Friday. He was listed as doubtful.

Rookie cornerback Tavon Young said the onus is on the rest of the defensive backfield to make up for Smith.

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"People get hurt all the time," Young said. "Just like anybody else getting hurt, it's the next man up. That's just how the NFL is. So if he can't play, then we've just got to keep going on, and hopefully, he can return as soon as possible."

It's looking more and more likely that cornerback Jimmy Smith will miss his second consecutive game Sunday when the Ravens play the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals, who also lost running back Giovani Bernard (39 catches for 336 yards and one touchdown) to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, will now turn to wideouts Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd to spark the passing attack.

While coach Marvin Lewis expressed his confidence in them, he admitted that Green will be sorely missed.

"It's part of professional sports and a team," Lewis said. "The next man moves up and gets going. Everybody has to adjust. Everybody has to pick up the slack and get going."

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