Chase: Held myself out vs. Titans as precaution
- ESPN Staff Writer
- Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
- University of North Texas graduate
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase revealed that he didn’t play last weekend against the Tennessee Titans for precautionary reasons.
In his first public comments since suffering a hip injury, Chase said he told Bengals coach Zac Taylor he did not want to play in Sunday’s victory at Tennessee because he didn’t feel comfortable returning from the injury that early.
“I wanted to give myself another week of preparation for the next game if I had a chance to,” Chase said Wednesday.
Chase said he feels great and has no pain as the Bengals start practicing for their upcoming showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game.
Chase also revealed the specifics of the injury he suffered in October, saying he hyperextended his right leg on a touchdown during Cincinnati’s Week 6 victory at New Orleans. He played the rest of the contest, including the game-winning, 60-yard touchdown in the Bengals’ 30-26 victory.
The following Wednesday, Chase said he told the Bengals’ training staff he had trouble moving. He felt better by the end of the week and played in Cincinnati’s Week 7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, when he he appeared to reaggravate the injury right before halftime. He finished that game as well and posted eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Afterward, Chase sought another consultation and said he was diagnosed with a hairline hip fracture.
“That’s what I got the second opinion for — that exact reason from the Falcon game,” Chase said.
Chase has missed four games because of the injury and said he is expected to have a light practice workload for the second straight week. He was limited in each one of Cincinnati’s Week 12 practices ahead of the game against the Titans.
Chase said his career outlook was a primary reason he decided to wait an extra week to return.
“I didn’t know if that was too early, too fast, so I just told [Taylor] I want to worry about long term,” Chase said, adding that the staff and trainers were on the same page with Chase about handling everything appropriately.
In his first NFL season, Chase set the Bengals’ franchise record for receiving yards in a single game (266) and a single season (1,455) — just two of the accolades that will be on his resume when he is eligible for a contract extension in 2024.
Taylor said it was hard to predict if Chase was going to be a full participant for any practice throughout the week.
“We’ll do our best to make sure he’s comfortable and we’re comfortable,” Taylor said.
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