Bengals' Rookie Sensation Ja'Marr Chase Has Chance to Make History - If He Plays

The Cincinnati Bengals struck gold when they drafted wide receiver, Ja'Marr Chase, with the 5th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.  The former LSU Tiger has been outstanding for the Bengals and going into Sunday's Week 18 matchup vs. the Cleveland Browns, Chase has the opportunity to add a number of accolades to his already impressive rookie season, including a 61-year old rookie record from the AFL days.  

Chase's eye-popping production (13 TDs, 1,429 receiving yards) may come as a surprise to some, but he saw his early success coming from a mile away.  On draft night, he declared he wanted to break all of the team's receiving records - no easy task considering the Bengals have been home to great receivers such as Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson, Cris Collinsworth, and more recently, teammate Tyler Boyd.  Ja'Marr is off to a great start as he is already the team's all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns by a rookie, plus he is just 12 yards away from passing Johnson's all-time team record of 1,440 receiving yards in a single season - which he set in his 7th professional season - for comparison.

On top of racking up Cincinnati's all-time team records, Chase has a chance to break the all-time record for receiving yards by a rookie in professional football.  While Justin Jefferson of the Vikings held the rookie record for receiving yards in the NFL, which Chase broke last week with an insane 266 receiving yards in a Week 17 victory over the Chiefs, the all-time receiving record for a rookie in professional football actually belongs to Bill Groman, who had 1,473 as a rookie with the Houston Oilers in 1960.  While 45 yards sounds like it should be a cakewalk for such a talented and motivated player like Ja'Marr Chase, he simply might not get the chance.

The issue stems from Cincinnati's success, as their 10-6 record has earned them a playoff spot, and they have already confirmed that some starters will be resting in advance of their first-round playoff matchup.  We'll have to find out today at 1 pm EST if Chase gets a chance to cap off his amazing season by breaking a couple more all-time records, or if head coach Zac Taylor thinks that resting his star receiver ahead of a run at the Superbowl takes precedent.

Photo Credit: © Albert Cesare / USA TODAY NETWORK

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