When the Cleveland Browns meet the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, a lot of the luster from the showdown has been lost from preseason expectations. While the Bengals started slow, they have put it together over the past few weeks. The Browns, on the other hand, have struggled their way through the early part of the season with a 2-5 record.
As covered earlier this morning, Cleveland had a number of players not participating in practice on Thursday including TE David Njoku. Njoku thinks he could still play on Monday night but the sheer number of injuries are concerning for the home team.
The visitors from Cincinnati just had a significant blow to their offense as well with the news that WR Ja’Marr Chase will miss the AFC North clash and, perhaps, as much as a month and a half:
Bengals’ WR Ja’Marr Chase is dealing with a hip injury that is expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks and makes him a prime candidate for injured reserve, per sources. Chase visited with a hip specialist Wednesday and is seeking more answers about his injury.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2022
Chase leads the Bengals receivers with 47 receptions for 605 yards and six touchdowns through just seven games. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are very good receivers but Chase makes things happen in Cincinnati. Boyd and Higgins are tied with 455 yards receiving while Higgins has two more receptions (31) and Boyd has one more touchdown (1).
Given the injury to Denzel Ward and Cleveland’s struggles on defense, any help they can get shutting down Cincinnati’s offense is going to help. Chase’s injury could keep him out up until the Browns and Bengals face off again in December.