The Cincinnati Bengals are scheduled to take on the Cleveland Browns for Week 8’s Monday Night Football game on October 31. News broke Thursday afternoon that they will likely be doing so without star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. He is dealing with a hip injury and it is now expected to sideline him for four to six weeks, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Bengals still have plenty of depth at the position with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd as their top two wide receivers. Higgins has 31 receptions on 44 targets for 455 yards and two touchdowns while Boyd has 29 receptions on 38 targets for 455 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Joe Burrow is still going to have weapons in the offense to lean on. The absence of Chase would theoretically downgrade Higgins and Boyd slightly, but their increased target share should almost counteract it.
If you want to go further down the depth chart, the new WR3 for the team should be Mike Thomas. He isn’t worth a roster add until we see him have a competitive target share and can honestly be left on waivers for the time being. The only other beneficiary of this injury will be tight end, Hayden Hurst. He has 29 receptions on 39 targets for 226 yards and two touchdowns and I’d expect that to increase with the Chase news. Hurst has already been a serviceable tight end, but he may be a weekly start if he can see extra targets.