NOVEMBER 12: Chase will be active for today’s bout with the Texans. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says that Chase “did what was necessary” in his warmups this morning to get the green light.
NOVEMBER 11: Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will be a bit shorthanded coming into a battle with an excited Texans team. We know that much. We learned yesterday that the team’s second-leading receiver, Tee Higgins, will be held out as he deals with a hamstring injury. Today, it was confirmed that rookie receiver and return specialist Charlie Jones, who has been on injured reserve for Cincinnati’s last five games, has been downgraded from questionable to out, per Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network.
Already down two wide receivers, things could potentially become even more dire for the Bengals offense if star wideout Ja’Marr Chase is unavailable to play tomorrow. According to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, Chase, who is listed as questionable after being limited in practice while dealing with a back injury, will be a true gametime decision, working out Sunday morning in order to determine whether or not he will be able to play.
If Chase is unable to go tomorrow, that will leave Cincinnati with an active roster lineup of Tyler Boyd, Trenton Irwin, and sixth-round rookie Andrei Iosivas. That trio has combined for 51 catches, 424 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. Chase alone has 64 receptions for 697 yards and four touchdowns. His presence against the Texans could be crucial in keeping a hot Bengals team rolling.
Knowing that they will be extremely short-staffed, Cincinnati has elected to promote two practice squad wide receivers as their standard gameday elevations, choosing Stanley Morgan and undrafted rookie Shedrick Jackson. Morgan has been with the team for the last five seasons, catching five balls for 29 yards over that time. Jackson would be making his NFL debut tomorrow after averaging 13.2 yards per catch over a five-year college career at Auburn.
We should know more tomorrow about the Bengals’ full situation at wide receiver, most notably Chase’s availability. Burrow and the rest of the offense will have to be at their best knowing that the wide receiver corps will be a bit thin.