The Cincinnati Bengals will certainly be without Ja’Marr Chase on Monday against the Cleveland Browns, but the star wide receiver may be back sooner than expected.
Chase is battling a hip injury that is expected to sideline him for four-to-six weeks, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but head coach Zac Taylor told reporters Saturday that Chase will not be placed on injured reserve, according to ESPN’s Ben Baby. That’s significant news because Chase landing on IR would have kept him out for a minimum of four games.
Chase might still be out of action for that long, but keeping him off IR leaves open the possibility for Chase to return at the beginning of the expected timeline, or if things go incredibly well in his recovery, even beforehand.
The Bengals also having a bye during Week 10 aids Chase as Taylor explained why the Bengals decided to keep the ultra-talented wideout off the IR.
“The overall prognosis of how it could play out factors into that,” Taylor told reporters, per Baby.
Fellow Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd, who has been in contact with his teammate, seemed to downplay the seriousness of Chase’s injury.
“It’s not super devastating,” Boyd told reporters, per Baby. “He got a nagging injury. He’ll be back, though.”
Chase reportedly visited an orthopedist on Wednesday as he begins his recovery from the injury. He leaves a massive hole in the Bengals’ offense as Cincinnati has steadied itself after an 0-2 start by winning four out of their last five games. Chase has been an obvious factor in that turnaround, catching 47 passes for 605 yards and six touchdowns this season.
The Bengals still should have enough to weather the storm with Chase out as their next three opponents are a combined 6-15.