As it turns out, Billy Price will not be making his return for a highly-anticipated clash with the Steelers in Week 6.
We already knew the Bengals wouldn’t have Price this week when they host the Dolphins. That was the expectation when Price revealed that his foot injury would keep him sidelined for at least two weeks from when he suffered the injury in a Week 2 win over the Ravens.
That’s why there had been little expectation Price would be active when the currently 3-1 Dolphins come to Paul Brown Stadium in Week 5, though Price expressed optimism he would return for the Steelers in Week 6.
Billy Price says two more weeks in boot then re-evaluate. No pain. No setback. Said he said he spoke too soon when he said “two weeks” two weeks ago— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) October 3, 2018
As for running back Joe Mixon, his recovery from knee surgery could cost him another week, but he believes he’ll definitely be back for the Steelers next week.
Joe Mixon says not cleared yet this week but hopes to be. He will “for sure” play against Pittsburgh, though.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) October 3, 2018
The good news is head coach Marvin Lewis gave an update that suggests Mixon will play this week against the Dolphins. It’s his typical weather report.
Marvin weather forecast on Joe Mixon: “Bright sunny day out there. The sun is up.” ☀️ aka — Mixon will be playing Sunday.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) October 3, 2018
Mixon is still working his way back from minor knee surgery, which he underwent after the Bengals’ win over the Ravens in Week 2. He was on the rehab field in each of the last two weeks, and the hope was he’d return this week vs. the Dolphins. Based on his cheerleading efforts against the Falcons, it certainly looked like his knee was ready for action as he tackled A.J. Green on the Bengals’ game-winning touchdown in Atlanta.
Even if Mixon doesn’t play this week, it sounds like he’ll certainly face the Steelers next week at the latest. In the meantime, Giovani Bernard would continue to be the featured back, a role he’s excelled in with Mixon sidelined over the last two games.
With Mixon looking likely to play this week, I would expect a nice balance of them both against Miami.
The Price injury happened on a run late in the first quarter of that 34-23 win over Baltimore, where Price appeared to have his foot stepped on. He left the game, and later, it was revealed to be a foot sprain that would sideline him multiple weeks.
With him out, Trey Hopkins took over at center, and he’s been up and down in that role ever since. The Bengals need to get Price back ASAP, but it won’t happen for this two-game home stretch against the Dolphins and Steelers.
This isn’t a great start to the career of the 21st overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but then again, the Bengals usually get little-to-nothing from their first-round picks, only to have them become solid contributors as their careers go on.
Let’s hope Price returns to become a key contributor this year.