It’s a new week for the Cincinnati Bengals, and the troubles from the previous few days are in the rearview mirror.
Sunday’s practice featured multiple drops from Ja’Marr Chase and interceptions from Joe Burrow. Monday’s practice looked like the exact opposite.
To open things up, Chase, wearing a hoodie underneath his jersey in 90 degree heat, strung together a few solid end zone grabs during red zone drills.
Ja’Marr Chase off to a solid start today #Bengals pic.twitter.com/qCTXtCwRic— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) August 23, 2021
Mighty strong hands here from Ja’Marr Chase in catch drills back of end zone from Burrow #Bengals pic.twitter.com/huiJiCbMuy— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) August 23, 2021
Later on, he continued working with the quarterbacks on the side field for the second straight day, getting extra work while his fellow receivers took their breaks between sessions.
I have seen Ja’Marr Chase working on a side field with the #Bengals QBs two days in a row during the special teams period while the rest of the WRs watch on the sidelines. He was one of the last players to leave the field yesterday. He’s clearly trying to put in extra work— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) August 23, 2021
An hour into practice and no drops to report from Uno. He capped off his bounce-back day with an impressive contested end zone grab.
Play of the day: In red zone drills at the end of practice, Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase leaps, twists his torso and plucks a ball out of the air for a TD inside the near right pylon. Got big cheers from the players.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 23, 2021
Needless to say, Chase needed this day to come. It was inevitable, but seeing it happen so soon after last week is obviously fantastic news.
It had been a tough few days for the first-round pick. We haven’t heard from Chase specifically since Friday night, we only know how he’s responded to his adversities. He seems to have plenty support from his teammates as well. Before practice, receivers Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins spoke to the media and answered questions about Chase’s recent struggles.
Higgins, a rookie last year with high expectations, offered great perspective on what Chase is going through.
“At the end of the day, I just want him to him. Don’t worry about what the critics say.” Asked Tee Higgins about his chats with Ja’Marr Chase #Bengals pic.twitter.com/3Y1zb1LD4J— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) August 23, 2021
The growth and maturity from the Higgins has been such a bright storyline this offseason. He’s on track to truly build off what was an impressive rookie year last season. He further proved it Monday by hauling in a deep pass from Burrow.
Best deep ball connection of camp for Joe Burrow on Monday. He dropped back and tossed a 40-yard dime to Tee Higgins over the top of Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 23, 2021
Perfect execution for a TD in 11 on 11.
And on the topic of Burrow, he put yesterday’s interceptions behind him as well. He got all three of his starting receivers involved and didn’t seem to have many of his throws hit the ground.
Ja’Marr Chase didn’t drop a pass today. Overall, the #Bengals WR had a nice day - several passes to Boyd, Higgins with the play of the day and strong performance from Chase to end the day making a contested catch— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) August 23, 2021
If Burrow being ready mentally ready to play is what has kept him out of the preseason, he looks to be erasing those doubts after each practice. We still don’t know for sure if he’ll play this upcoming Sunday. Whatever the decision ends up being, he looks prepared to make his return.
Finally... Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was at practice?
Big day off Mehring Way: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is in attendance at Bengals practice pic.twitter.com/WkExdxBcIy— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 23, 2021