Undrafted rookie Damion Willis to start in place of A.J. Green

Josh Alper

The Bengals won’t have wide receiver A.J. Green in the lineup for the first week of the regular season and they named the player who will be taking his place in the lineup on Sunday.

Rookie head coach Zac Taylor tabbed undrafted rookie Damion Willis will take Green’s spot in the starting lineup against the Seahawks on September 8. Green is out with an ankle injury suffered at the start of training camp.

“I’m just finding out,” Willis said, via the team’s website. “I’m going to wait to Saturday to celebrate.”

Saturday is the day the Bengals and the other 31 teams in the league will get down to 53 players, although Willis has less to worry about than most undrafted players. Willis had 98 catches for 1,496 yards and 13 touchdowns at Troy over the last two seasons and he’s caught nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.

Taylor also announced that Trey Hopkins will start at center and fourth-round pick Michael Jordan will start at left guard. That means 2018 first-round pick Billy Price will open his second season on the bench after starting all 10 games he played as a rookie.