The Cincinnati Bengals will be without a pair of key starters for their Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach Zac Taylor announced on Friday.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins did not practice again on Friday for the third consecutive day and will miss his third consecutive game, Taylor told reporters in Cincinnati on Friday. Higgins has been dealing with a hamstring injury.
Tee Higgins and Cam Taylor-Britt OUT Sunday. Germaine Pratt was sick. See how he feels on Sunday. Sam Hubbard is good to go. All per Zac Taylor.
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) November 24, 2023
The Bengals’ No. 2 receiving target behind Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins posted back-to-back 1,000-yard season in 2021 and 2022, but has caught just 27 passes for 328 yards in a season that has been hampered by multiple injuries.
With Higgins out, Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati’s slot receiver and usual third target, has seen a bigger role. He’s second on the team behind Chase with 47 catches for 439 yards and two touchdowns.
Veteran Trenton Irwin and Andrei Iosivas, a rookie from Princeton, have served as Cincinnati’s third and fourth receivers with Higgins out. Iosivas has also been bothered by a knee injury, but is expected to play.
The Bengals have also been leaning on their depth at tight end, where Drew Sample and Ira Smith Jr. have shared playing time and Tanner Hudson also has one start.
On defense, cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt will also miss the Steelers game. He suffered a quad injury during Cincinnati’s Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the same game that the Bengals lost quarterback Joe Burrow in.
A second-round pick in 2022, Taylor-Britt started nine games as a rookie last year and all 10 before his injury this season. Chidobe Awuzie and rookie DJ Turner II will likely start at outside corner, with former Steeler Mike Hilton working on the inside.
The Bengals did get some good injury news on Friday. Left defensive end Sam Hubbard, who has been bothered by an ankle injury, is expected to suit up against the Steelers.
Linebacker Germaine Pratt has an illness and will be a game-time decision.