Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase suffered an AC joint sprain in Saturday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Chase did not finish the game and was on the sideline with a sling.
Rapoport reported that Chase will have more tests on Monday, but from his understanding, Chase is expected to not miss any time and will be active for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium.
The same can’t be said for Bengals standout defensive tackle D.J. Reader, who suffered a torn quad against Minnesota and is out for the season.
The Bengals have suffered plenty of injuries already this season, with quarterback Joe Burrow being the most notable. Despite not having Burrow, Jake Browning has led the Bengals to three straight wins and has Cincinnati as the sixth seed in the AFC Playoff picture at 8-6. Since the Steelers’ 16-10 win over the Bengals at Peycor Stadium in Week 12, Pittsburgh has dropped three straight to 7-7 and are on the outside looking in at 10th place in the AFC.
Chase led Cincinnati’s receivers with four grabs for 64 yards before suffering an AC joint sprain and exiting the game. The Bengals didn’t miss a beat without Chase, however, as Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd both came up with clutch plays late in the contest.
Higgins made an incredible catch at the goal line with 39 seconds left to send the game to overtime. On third-and-9 from the Bengals’ 43-yard line in overtime, Browning escaped pressure and threw into traffic to Boyd, who emerged with the ball and raced downfield for a 44-yard gain. Evan McPherson connected on a 29-yard field goal to win it for the Bengals.
As mentoined, Rapoport expects Chase to play, but his injury status will still be something to monitor throughout the week. Pittsburgh did not face the three-headed monster at wide receiver in the first game, as Higgins was out with a hamstring injury. Chase had four receptions for 81 yards (20.2 average) but no touchdowns in his first meeting against the Steelers. That was Browning’s first career start, as well. The Steelers’ pass defense has struggled immensely the last few weeks, so they’ll need to develop a proper plan to stop the hot Bengals.