Cincinnati Bengals star receiver Ja’Marr Chase is injured and likely will land on injured reserve.
Adam Schefter had the news Thursday afternoon:
Bengals’ WR Ja’Marr Chase injured his hip vs the Saints, aggravated it last week and now will be sidelined. https://t.co/722JvPkywa
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2022
For Steelers fans, this news becomes ultra-relevant, as Chase’s timeline likely sidelines him for the Bengals’ Week 11 showdown in Pittsburgh.
That rivalry game takes place four weeks from this news, so Chase would have to come back on the (very) optimistic side of recovery to suit up for that contest. If he lands on injured reserve, Chase would be required to miss at least four weeks, sidelining him for sure against the Steelers.
This news certainly deflates Bengals fans.
Chase won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award last season on the back of an impressive campaign. He hauled in 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns, immediately gelling with young quarterback (and former LSU teammate) Joe Burrow.
That connection helped propel the Bengals all the way to the Super Bowl, where they eventually lost to the Rams.
It’s not just that Chase is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, though.
This injury comes shortly after the Bengals offense began to find its stride. The team put up back-to-back 30-plus-point performances in Weeks 6 and 7, and it appeared Burrow and company were back to the fearsome offensive juggernaut teams came to know (and hate) last season.
On top of that, Chase didn’t experience a sophomore slump. He currently ranks fifth in receptions with 47, sixth in yards with 605, and second in touchdowns with six.
His elite speed and knack for the endzone fundamentally change the way teams will approach the Bengals, as well. Much like the Steelers without TJ Watt, the Bengals without Ja’Marr Chase become a different unit altogether.
Put it this way: During the team’s first encounter in Week 1 –– a 23-20 overtime win for the Steelers –– Chase hauled in 10 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Now-retired former Steelers cornerback Joe Haden specifically cited the fact that he didn’t want to cover Chase as a reason he’s, you know, staying retired.
There’s no doubt about it: Losing Chase deals a massive blow to the Bengals –– and a huge win to the Steelers.