A.J. Green wants to return punts. Let me say that again: Georgia’s most electrifying player on offense thinks he can make a difference running back punts. He’s not talking completely out of his ass about that either, having returned twelve punts for touchdowns in high school.
But there’s this thing that seems to get a lot of people hung up about him doing that.
Green said he wasn’t worried about risking injury.
“Nah,” he said. “It will just add another dimension to my game.”
To read the message boards, you’d think that returning punts was the most hazardous part of the game. Hell, make that special teams in general – I read one comment from a person who still claims to be scarred by Boss Bailey blowing his knee out while covering a kickoff in the Georgia Southern game a decade ago.
Now I’ve got no idea if Green is Georgia’s best option here. But I wouldn’t bet against it either. And if he is a legitimate difference maker who should play, how credible is the injury concern? I see two ways of looking at that. If you see football as a violent, dangerous sport, then there’s a point to be made that increasing the number of times a player sees the field also increases the risk of injury. But to simply argue that there’s a greater risk of injury simply fielding punts… well, I’d be curious to see the data on that.