It sounds like there’s some optimism around Ja’Marr Chase‘s ability to return from a hip injury. Zac Taylor told reporters that his star receiver will not be placed on injured reserve,per Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic on Twitter. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport clarifies (on Twitter) that Chase is now considered week-to-week.
This is an about-face from what we heard the other day. Chase’s hip flexor strain was expected to keep him off the field for at least four weeks, making an IR stint likely. It never sounded like surgery was an option, which provided a bit of hope that the WR would simply return whenever he felt good enough to play. Ultimately, the Bengals are banking on Chase being ready to go at some point over the next four contests.
Chase has already been ruled out for Monday’s game against the Browns, and it seems unlikely he’ll take the field in Week 9. The Bengals have a bye during Week 10, so perhaps the organization is eyeing a Week 11 or Week 12 return.
“The timing,” Taylor said when asked about the decision to keep Chase off IR (via Dehner on Twitter). “The bye week helps. The overall prognosis of how it could play out factors in to that.”
Chase suffered the injury back in Week 6 against the Saints. He still managed to take the field for Week 7, hauling in eight receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Fortunately for the Bengals, the team has a relatively deep grouping of receivers to help pick up the slack while Chase is out of the lineup. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd will lead the way, but Cincy is also rostering the likes of Trent Taylor, Mike Thomas, and Stanley Morgan.