Joe Mixon’s concussion will keep him out of the Bengals’ Week 12 game against the Titans, coach Zac Taylor told reporters on Friday. Mixon has not practiced since sustaining the injury during this past Sunday’s win over the Steelers. Taylor also said that Pro Bowl wideout Ja’Marr Chase will be a game-time decision. Chase — who has been labeled as questionable for Sunday’s game — has missed the past three games with a hip injury.
Mixon is a significant loss for the Bengals. A Pro Bowler last season, Mixon has amassed 919 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns this season. Mixon, who scored a franchise-record five touchdowns during the Bengals’ blowout win over the Panthers in Week 9, had 105 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in Cincinnati’s divisional round playoff win over Tennessee in January.
Third-down back Samaje Perine will get a bigger workload with Mixon out. Perine, who was drafted 66 spots behind Mixon in the 2017 NFL Draft, caught three touchdown passes in Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh. He has four touchdown catches this season while tallying more yards as a receiver than a rusher.
“Every role you ask him to play, he’s going to do it,” Taylor said of Perine after Sunday’s game. “Whether it’s the second-half feature back when Joe’s out, whether it’s playing his role on third down or some of the other packages they put him in. He’s just as reliable as they come. Very dependable. We don’t take him for granted because we understand how valuable a piece he is for our team.”
The Bengals are 2-1 this season without Chase, who had not missed an NFL game prior to sustaining his hip injury. Cincinnati had perhaps its finest performance of the season during Sunday’s win over the Steelers. Despite not having Chase and losing Mixon during the game, the Bengals racked up 408 total yards while scoring touchdowns on all three of their trips inside the Steelers’ 20-yard line. Joe Burrow threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns, while Tee Higgins caught a season-high nine passes for 148 yards. The Bengals offense also received significant contributions from Perine, Trenton Irwin, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst.
While they’ve put together a winning record without him, the Bengals are a vastly better outfit with Chase on the field. In seven games this season, the former first-round pick caught 47 passes for 605 yards and six touchdowns. In the two games prior to getting injured, Chase caught a combined 15 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns in Bengals wins over the Saints and Falcons.
A possible Week 12 return for Chase would obviously be welcomed news for the Bengals, who at 6-4 are currently second behind Baltimore in the AFC North division standings. Cincinnati is hoping to make it back to the playoffs this season after coming up just short in its surprising Super Bowl run this past winter.