Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is uncertain about the timeline for the return of No. 1 cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt, who is sidelined with a sprained ankle for the second consecutive game.
This means cornerback Chidobe Awuzie will be tasked with taking the majority of snaps, much like last week when the Bengals take on the Jaguars’ high-flying offense Monday night (8:15-Cincinnati’s Channel 9, ESPN).
Taylor-Britt sustained the injury during Friday’s practice at the IEL Indoor Facility while the team was assessing if he could recover from the quad injury he suffered on Nov. 16 in Baltimore.
Awuzie is endeavoring to return to his top form when he held the No. 1 corner title before tearing his ACL 13 months ago. He has also been managing a back issue this season, but last week’s 69 snaps were the most he has played since the 72 in the Oct. 16, 2022 win in New Orleans last year.
“Chido finished the game, which is excellent,” said defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo this week. “It’s a great sign for his knee and for him, mentally. A great sign for him to say, ‘I finished the game well.’ It’s just another step towards him reaching 100%.”
There could be a practice squad elevation (Allan George? Sidney Jones IV?) with rookie DJ Ivey also as a backup, as all hands are on deck to stop one of the NFL’s hottest down-field offenses. Anarumo aims to stabilize a defense that has allowed 17 passes of at least 20 yards in the last three weeks.
Next Gen Stats reveal that Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence boasts a career-high passer rating of 98.6 on throws of 10-plus air yards, along with other career highs. The Jaguars and Vikings are the only teams with three players with at least 500 yards.
“Their receivers can really fly. Those guys can really go,” Anarumo said of Ridley, Kirk, and Zay Jones. “And then, oh, by the way, Evan Engram can really roll. The quarterback is a really, really good athlete that can hurt you with his arm and his legs.”
“The Bengals emerged victorious at Paycor Stadium on Sept. 30, 2021, with a 24-21 win on Thursday night, and quarterback Joe Burrow secured his first career fourth-quarter comeback victory with a game-winning drive.”
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