Bengals lose Chase, Reader, Ivey, but hold off Vikings in OT

Bengals lose Chase, Reader, Ivey, but hold off Vikings in OT
Courtesy: ESPN

The Cincinnati Bengals overcame the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday in overtime with an incredible 27-24 victory, despite missing two of their finest players.

Defensive tackle DJ Reader and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase both exited the games with injuries of differing degrees, but Cincinnati managed to overcome two fourth-quarter deficits and produce clutch plays to win its third straight game.

After the game, coach Zac Taylor remarked, “It took everybody.” In the fourth quarter, we managed to reclaim the upper hand. That was the most competitive game I have ever played in my life. And in the end, our soldiers managed to make it.

After the game, Taylor had no more information about Chase. After being reduced to out in overtime, the LSU third-year player was originally declared questionable. With four catches for sixty-four yards, he concluded the game.

Early in the fourth, after making a 24-yard grab to extend a drive, he seemed to favor his right shoulder. He briefly visited the sidelines before getting back into the action. With just than three minutes remaining in regulation, running back Joe Mixon and quarterback Jake Browning completed a four-yard pass, and Chase was out of the game.

With Chase down, Cincinnati turned to Tee Higgins, who scored twice in the fourth quarter, including a wild 21-yard touchdown with only :39 remaining in regulation to help level the score at 24 all before driving into overtime.

In light of the fact that Cincinnati needs a big play and a victory to stay in control of their postseason destiny in a competitive AFC wild-card race, Higgins realized he had to step up and take Chase’s place.

“(Bengals assistant coach) Troy Walters came up to me and said, ‘It’s time to be the alpha,” Higgins said. “I was able to do that.”

The Bengals (8-6) offense found a spark in the fourth quarter, with Higgins accounting for two of the three touchdown throws. In the fourth quarter, Browning completed as many passes for 140 yards as he had in the three preceding quarters put together.

After owning up to his poor performance in the first half, he threw a poor interception to start the third quarter. He did, however, complete 29 of 42 passes for 324 yards and two scores, exacting retribution on his previous team.

After signing with the Vikings in 2019 after going undrafted out of Washington, Browning was waived by the team in 2021. Browning acknowledged that this game meant more to him after the manner Minnesota cut him, even if he played down any animosity from earlier in the week. He said he never received word from the Vikings that he was cut until he received a call from his agent.

“I’ve been cut my fair share of times and that was probably the s—tiest one,” Browning stated following the game. He also mentioned that the team still employs terrific people and that the coaching staff and front office have changed. However, that one felt nice.

“I think right after we made the field goal to win the game, I screamed at the camera and said, ‘They never should have cut me.”

However, things weren’t all good for the Bengals. Cincinnati is concerned that Reader, a key player in the team’s comeback, may be out for the season following a right knee injury he sustained during the first quarter of Saturday’s game.

After the game, Taylor remarked, “I’ll get more information, but I don’t think it’s positive for DJ.”

After a collision at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter, Reader was declared out of the game. Reader was carted off the field by Cincinnati’s medical crew shortly after he went down. Before the Vikings could complete their offensive drive, he was declared out of the game.

In recent years, the veteran has been one of Cincinnati’s defense’s most vital players. During 2020 free agency, the Clemson athlete in his eighth year inked a contract with Cincinnati. The Bengals, who concluded the 2019 season with the poorest record in the NFL, made their first major acquisition with his four-year, $53 million contract.

In 2020, Reader also sustained a quadriceps injury that ended the season. He has been one of the Bengals’ most reliable players throughout the course of his four years on the team, starting all 43 of his games. One of the few guys on the team who has been with Cincinnati since 2019 is defensive tackle Josh Tupou of the Bengals. He talked about the impact that Reader has had during his time with the team.

“Ever since he’s been here, the media sees it, the players see it, he makes a tremendous difference,” Tupou stated. That’s one of those situations where we can only measure up to him together. He’s such a tremendous player that not everyone on our D-line can.

DJ Ivey, a rookie defensive back for the Bengals, was also forced to leave the game on Saturday due to a left knee injury. During a punt return in the second quarter, the seventh-round pick sustained an injury while attempting to make a tackle.

Credits: ESPN

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