Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that star running back Joe Mixon has tested positive for COVID-19 and is officially OUT for Week 18’s game against the Browns.
Next up behind Mixon on the depth chart is Samaje Perine, who has totaled 442 yards from scrimmage and two scores working behind him this season. Luckily, he has shown some versatility in the receiving game that could earn him more time as a three-down option within the backfield as the Bengals look to close out their season with a win.
Behind Samaje Perine sits rookie Chris Evans, who the team selected in the sixth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Michigan. He has seen just 21 total touches on the season and hasn’t seen a full complement of touches at any point in his career — even in his college days. He finished his best season with the Wolverines totaling 151 touches for 842 scrimmage yards and 7 TDs.
It’s unfortunate timing for the Bengals, who have a chance to lock up the AFC’s No. 1 seed, but with the Browns in shambles as of late and with a huge performance just allowed to rookie Najee Harris, it’s possible that either of these backs could find some room to run in Week 18.