Well babyESPN EditorNovember 10, 2023, 2:14 p.m. ET3 minute read

Darlington: Ja’Marr Chase has a chance to play against the Texans

Jeff Darlington joins “SportsCenter” to provide insight into the possibility of Ja’Marr Chase taking on the Texans.

CINCINNATI — Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins will not play Sunday against the Houston Texans, coach Zac Taylor announced Friday.

Higgins suffered a hamstring injury on Wednesday and did not practice the rest of the week. He observed receivers during individual drills during the open portion of Thursday’s practice and was not spotted during Friday’s open media viewing window.

Taylor hasn’t benefited from Higgins’ long-term availability as he deals with a hamstring injury, especially with the Bengals set to face the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday in a crucial AFC North game.

“I don’t really care about next week right now,” Taylor said. “He won’t play this week.”

Defensive end Sam Hubbard will also be out for Sunday’s game after suffering an ankle injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. Cam Sample, Joseph Ossai and rookie Cam Sample will be among those who will benefit from additional representatives in Hubbard’s absence, Taylor said.

The odds of wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase playing against the Texans (4-4) were more favorable late in the week. After missing Wednesday’s practice with a back injury, he was limited Thursday and was spotted again during the open period of Friday’s practice.

Chase is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, with Taylor saying, “We’ll see.”

“I thought he was good,” Taylor said of Chase’s practice Friday.

Cincinnati (5-3) looks to win its fifth straight game after losing three of its first four. Since Week 5, Cincinnati’s receivers have led the NFL in receiving yards per game (223.5), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Quarterback Joe Burrow also ranks third in Total QBR during this span.

Tyler Boyd, the longest-tenured player on the roster, credited Burrow and the coaching staff for their ability to trade receivers successfully.

“You can kind of put any guy with Joe, as long as he does the things he needs to do right,” Boyd said Wednesday.

Trenton Irwin replaced Higgins when he suffered a hamstring injury in 2022 and has since become one of Cincinnati’s top reserves at the position. His best performance came this season when he caught a career-high eight passes for 60 yards in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Irwin said proper preparation and having a strong relationship with Burrow are crucial for those who are pushed into action when injuries occur.

“Joe has to be able to trust that people know what they’re going to do and where we need to be,” Irwin said. “For this to happen, you have to communicate, but you also have to be ready for anything.”

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