Chase practiced for the first time since a hip injury forced the wideout to miss three games. Chase participated in drills during the portion of practice open to the media, catching a variety of passes from quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow said Chase ran Tuesday and is on track to play this weekend.
“We expect him to play,” Burrow said. “I know he ran yesterday and he felt good. So we’ll see how it goes the rest of the week.”
Chase hasn’t played since the Bengals’ Week 7 win over the Atlanta Falcons, when he had eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. At the time, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Chase could be out four to six weeks. Sunday would mark five weeks since Chase last played.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor was a bit more clandestine than his quarterback about Chase’s prognosis. Taylor said he hadn’t seen Chase practice since the injury and described his availability as day-to-day.
Still, Taylor conceded that Chase’s rehabilitation process has gone well.
“He’s done all the things we’ve asked him to do,” Taylor said Wednesday. “He has done a great job with the trainers in there. Everything has been positive to this point.”
Burrow echoed that Chase has been working hard to return to the field and resting the hip as needed for Cincinnati’s playoff push. The Bengals (6-4) will face the AFC South-leading Titans (7-3) on Sunday as the start of a seven-game final slate that includes five opponents ahead of them in the AFC standings.
According to Burrow, Chase has been in some team meetings while trying to balance his rehab work, staying engaged and “being exactly the type of teammate you would expect.”
If Chase returns this weekend, he will join a Bengals offense that has turned into one of the league’s best. Cincinnati ranks third in the NFL in points per drive and third in offensive points per game.
“I know as soon as he’s ready to go, he’ll be back, ready to play and keep making plays,” Burrow said.