That was the expectation when Price revealed that his foot injury would keep him sidelined for at least two weeks, and doctors aren’t even set to re-evaluate it until next week. That’s why there had been little expectation Price would be active when the currently 3-0 Dolphins come to Paul Brown Stadium in Week 5.
On Thursday, Price confirmed as much but did add he hopes to play in Week 6 when the Bengals host the Steelers.
Price says he'll be back for sure vs. Steelers— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) September 27, 2018
Price says he'll get re-evaluated Tuesday. He'll continue to ride bike and spend practices with offense— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) September 27, 2018
As for Mixon, he didn’t sound too optimistic about his chances of playing this weekend since it ultimately won’t be his call.
Joe Mixon said his knee "feels great" running, cutting and conditioning. Could he play Sunday? "I wish... just waiting 'till they clear me."— Fletcher Page (@FletcherPage) September 27, 2018
The Bengals are probably playing it smart if they hold him out this week to ensure he’s fully recovered from his knee surgery. Giovani Bernard has proven he can keep this offense going and help offset the loss of Mixon.
For what it’s worth, head coach Marvin Lewis seems optimistic that both players aren’t far off from a return to game action.
“Joe is doing great,” Lewis said of Mixon on Wednesday. “I don’t know where he’ll be listed (on the injury report) this week (laughs), but we’re happy with his and Billy’s (Price) progress. We have a chance to have all hands on deck soon, which is exciting. Joe’s youth is playing a big part, and Billy’s youth is playing a big part (in their progress). We’ll keep the glass half-full and keep moving on.”
For now, Bernard will start at running back, and Trey Hopkins will be the center. Both have done well, but there’s no question the Bengals need Price and Mixon back to reach their full potential this year.