Status of Bengals' Green could be key

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Much has been made about the development of Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, and rightfully so.

The 35th overall pick in the draft in April, Dalton's 14 touchdown passes are the most by a rookie in a season's first nine contests since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. And he joined former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino as the only rookies to register 100-plus passer ratings in each of his first two starts.

But equally as important as been the emergence of rookie wide receiver A.J. Green, who leads NFL rookies in catches (41), receiving yards (635) and receiving touchdowns (six).

Green, who hyperextended his right knee in the team's 24-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, did not practice Wednesday, and his status for Sunday's AFC North showdown with the Ravens is unclear.

"He'll be a little sore this week, and we'll have to see how he goes through the week and how he recovers, so that hopefully he can get some practice time in," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. "I don't speak much about injuries since I can't put my hands on him and heal him, but hopefully he'll be good to go."

Dalton is hopeful Green returns and can be effective.

"Obviously, everybody knows what A.J. can do," Dalton said. "He's a great player, and obviously, we'd love to have him. I don't know all the details of everything that's going on with him right now, but we're going to put a plan in and guys are going to have to step up if he's not ready to go."