NFL Rumors: Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Ja'Marr Chase to Miss Time

The Cincinnati Bengals have suffered another injury to a crucial offensive star. According to Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz, two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is expected to miss "at least" one week with an AC joint sprain suffered in the Bengals' Week 15 27-24 OT win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Chase nabbed four receptions for 64 yards in Saturday's win. For the season, he has hauled in a team-leading 93 receptions for 1156 yards and seven touchdowns over 14 appearances.

Chase's injury is another ill-timed blow to one's of the NFL's most star-studded offenses. Starting quarterback Joe Burrow has already been declared out for the season following a hand injury suffered in Week 11's 34-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Backup Jake Browning has filled in admirably, winning three of four starts while passing for 1180 yards with a 107.1 passer rating, but Chase's injury may very well be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Without question, Chase has been the engine of the Bengals' offense since being drafted fifth overall in 2021. Overall, the unit has struggled compared to recent seasons: they rank 14th in points scored and 21st in yards gained through 15 weeks. If Chase can't go, the Bengals will be forced to lean more heavily on struggling wide receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, who have combined for a middling 1072 receiving yards and 7.0 yards per target this season.

At 8-6, the Bengals remain in the thick of the playoff hunt and would even have one of the AFC's coveted Wildcard spots if the postseason started today. But with road games against the Pittsburgh Steelers (who defeated the Bengals 16-10 in Week 12) and the perennially contending Kansas City Chiefs in the coming weeks, the Bengals can ill afford to be without their top weapon. If Chase's injury costs the Bengals a win or even two, they could easily find themselves missing the Wildcard round.

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