Super Bowl Runner Up Bengals Face Mixed Feelings As Ja’Marr Chase Looks Hopeful But Joe Mixon Does Not for Titans Match-Up

Published 11/26/2022, 11:00 AM EST
Nov 20, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is stopped by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Robert Spillane (41) and linebacker Myles Jack (51) during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Defending AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals have cause to celebrate and to be dismayed about for Sunday. Their star running back, Joe Mixon, missed Friday’s practice, effectively ruling him out of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. But while fans lament the loss, injured receiver Ja’Marr Chase’s recovery has proved very effective. So much so that the team even expects him to play on Sunday.

Head coach Zac Taylor announced the news to reporters after Friday’s practice. “We’ll be able to protect him for another week with that concussion,” he says. Mixon suffered an injury during the first half of their win against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. The athlete is still in concussion protocol, expected to last at least another week.

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Meanwhile, receiver Ja’Marr Chase is showing signs of improvement after attending practice on Friday. Taylor told reporters he thinks Chase looks good, a promising sign for Bengals’ fans. Chase missed the last 3 games due to a hip injury he sustained during their week 6 win over the New Orleans Saints. Bengals QB Joe Burrow seems quite optimistic about Chase starting on Sunday.

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With Joe Mixon still in concussion protocol, Samaje Perine will get to shine

Joe Mixon’s absence on Sunday means the obvious starter will be Samaje Perine. Perine made a statement in the win against Pittsburgh, after catching a franchise-high (for an RB) 3 touchdowns. According to ESPN, Perine and Mixon have both been massive benefactors of the Bengals’ running gap plays often.“I don’t know if we’re getting more movement or what,” Perine says. “But as an offense in general, when you move to gap-scheme type of stuff, it’s worked for us, I think, more so because [of how our offensive] line works. They love downhill running.”

Nov 20, 2022, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports

But the Bengals will have a steep hill to climb on Sunday, as they face a team that is effectively the best in the league at stopping run plays. At 6-4 and 2nd in the AFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals are not quite in playoff qualification territory. But they might have a chance to jump on if the Ravens make any mistakes. And for that, they must take care of the Titans first.

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Watch This Story: Justin Jefferson gets called out by Ja’Marr Chase days after he called out Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp; WRs in a race towards cementing elite status

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Arjun Sukumaran

172 articles

Arjun Sukumaran is a NFL content writer at EssentiallySports. A Mechanical Engineering graduate, his debating stints and voyages into research from his college days have become part and parcel of his life. He loves cheeseburgers, and so naturally, he loves the Kansas City Chiefs, and you can definitely count him in the group of people claiming Patrick Mahomes to be the next big thing.

Edited By: Gurjyot Singh Dadial

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