Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins had his say Thursday, and Ja’Marr Chase offered his thoughts today. And they’re not encouraging for those who want to see quarterback Joe Burrow play Monday night.
Chase made it clear he doesn’t know the answer.
Does Ja’Marr Chase Think Joe Burrow is Playing on Monday?
But if he had to guess?
“If I had to guess, I would say ‘no,'” Chase said. “I’ve been tellin’ him ‘no.’ My answer never changed. I told him back then, ‘don’t play until you 100 percent ready to play.’ So I don’t know what he’s doin’.”
Ja’Marr’s not breaking any news, but he doesn’t think Burrow is playing, nor does he think Burrow’s cart ride with Mike Brown was a good sign. pic.twitter.com/dO2n7Tab2l
— Jay Morrison (@ByJayMorrison) September 22, 2023
Burrow was upgraded to limited after sitting out Thursday’s practice, but Chase said today most involved the quarterback throwing routes on air.
Seeing Burrow throw was new from yesterday, but the most striking thing anyone saw today — media, players, and coaches — was team owner Mike Brown driving his cart up to where Burrow was taking part in team stretch and telling him to get on.
Brown took Burrow for a short lap, said what he said, and dropped him back off where he found him. Brown is an engaging personality the players genuinely enjoy talking to. Burrow was not smiling or laughing when he jumped off the cart.
WCPO-TV’s Caleb Noe was rolling when it happened.
During team stretches today—#Bengals Owner Mike Brown:
— Caleb Noe (@CalebNoeTV) September 22, 2023
“We definitely was lookin’ at that like, ‘that’s new,'” Chase said. “Mr. Brown is talkin’, and he’s talkin’ to Joe, and he’s on a cart ridin’ around talkin’ to Joe? We knew somethin’ was wrong right there. Usually, he’s just chillin’ back watchin’ the practice and just smilin’ and laughin’ and bein’ himself.”
“That was different,” Chase added.
A lot of things are different around the Bengals these days, including the ability to get Chase the ball down the field, which is something he called for earlier in the week.
Head coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan both dismissed Chase’s comments as typical of great players who want to help the team win. But Chase said today he sat down with Callahan after saying what he said to reporters Monday.
“I basically had a 1-on-1 with Cally, just told Cally what was goin’ on,” Chase said. “We just went back to the basics. Same old stuff. Just making sure we get our playmakers the ball in space. We gonna take our shots when we get the right defense and opportunity, but other than that, we still gonna take our shots.”
“I’m a playmaker. I 100 percent believe that in myself,” Chase continued. “Everyone on this team knows I’m a playmaker. That’s my job to be a playmaker. I play this game with a lot of passion, and when I don’t make plays, I get on myself about it.”
With the possibility of Jake Browning making his first career start Monday night, Chase said the onus is on him, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and running back Joe Mixon to make things as easy as possible or a backup quarterback thrust into a huge spot where the team cannot add another loss to it’s 0-2 start.
“It’s gonna be on the receivers,” Chase added. “We gonna have to get open. We can’t blame that on the quarterback. Mixon gonna have to do his job, and the receivers are gonna have to get open. It’s the NFL, and everything’s not gonna go our way. We’ve got to play hard and play physical and play fast. That’s how we win games.”
On Thursday, Taylor said the 0-2 start was “perceived adversity” because there is still a lot of season left.
Would not having Burrow on Monday be real adversity?
“Yeah, that’s adversity. That’s 100 percent adversity,” Chase said. “It’s stuff we’ve never dealt with.”
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