The Bengals’ high-flying offense could take a step back in the next few weeks, and that’s because Ja’Marr Chase is expected to be out for some time with a hip injury.
Though it’s unclear how long Chase will be out, the all-pro wide receiver is expected to miss Monday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. according to NFL.com. If Chase misses just a game or two, that would be arguably the best case scenario for the Bengals, as there’s at least one report that he could be out for more than a month.
To to ESPN.com, the injury could sideline the Bengals star between four and six weeks and if it’s the longer end of that window Chase would be out until December. Chase was pulled from practice Thursday, and at the time Bengals coach Zac Taylor said it was because the hip was “sore,” but it’s clearly more than that.
With Chase potentially staring at a six-week absence, the Bengals could put him on injured reserve. However, if they go that route, Chase will have to sit out at least four games, so they’ll only put him on IR if they feel like he can’t make it back within a month. The Bengals have a bye in Week 10. So if Chase sat out Week 8 (Browns) and Week 9 (Panthers), that would give him four weeks to heal and he would only miss two games in that time span.
It’s a devastating injury for a Bengal offense that has been finding its feet in recent weeks after a slow start to the season. The Bengals have won four of their last five games, and a big reason for that is Chase, who has absolutely come off in his last two games for at least 130 yards and two touchdowns in each game, both of which have been Bengals wins.
The 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year originally injured his hip in Week 6 against the Saints. During that 30-26 win, Chase caught seven passes for 132 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown that won the game and had less than two minutes to play. In the days following that game, Chase appeared on injury reports for the first time all season and even sat out the team’s Wednesday practice session leading up to the week seven game against the Falcons.
Against Atlanta, Chase caught eight passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. However, he did most of the damage in the first half, which is remarkable given that he injured his hip again just 20 seconds before half-time.
Although Chase returned to the game in the second half, he wasn’t very active.
Chase’s absence means Taylor will have to completely overhaul the Bengals’ offense. The Bengals have the guns to succeed without Chase, but there’s no guarantee of that. One thing the Bengals will have to lean on in Chase’s absence is Joe Mixon and the game in progress, but that could pose problems since ground play hasn’t existed this year (the Bengals averaged just 87.4 yards per game at bottom, which is the fifth worst in the NFL).
If you look at the Bengals’ passing game, Joe Burrow has thrown 27% of his passes (74 goals in 270 attempts) at Chase this year, and those have to go elsewhere. The good news for the Bengals is that Burrow has good chemistry with the rest of his receivers. Although Chase leads the team with 605 yards, both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are right behind him with 455 yards each. Those are going to be the two guys who have to fill the gap because Burrow will definitely be looking for them when Chase is out.
Mixon (182) and Hayden Hurst (226) both have more than 180 receiving yards in the season.
It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Bengals offense but they have several winnable games (at Browns, Panthers, BYE, at Steelers, at Titans) over the next few weeks and with the way their defense has played, the defending AFC champions may be able to weather the storm of Chase’s absence.
https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/bengals-jamarr-chase-out-week-8-and-could-miss-up-to-six-weeks-due-to-nagging-hip-injury-per-report/ Bengals’ Ja’Marr is chasing Week 8 and could miss up to six weeks with a nagging hip injury, according to the report