The Cincinnati Bengals’ offense started to walk early in the 2020 season, but in 2021, it grew wings and flew.
While a huge part of that was the addition of No. 5 overall pick Ja’Marr Chase, the rise of 2020 second-round pick Tee Higgins played a monumental role. Higgins recorded his first 1,000 seasons, notching 1,091 receiving yards on 74 receptions.
Unfortunately, while he did get to play in the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1980s, Higgins was forced to have offseason shoulder surgery. The now third-year receiver is working his way back onto the field and hopes to be available at the start of the season.
Preseason reps aren’t overly important to him as his competitive spirit can be brought to life from just practice. That’s what was inferred when the Enquirer's Kelsey Conway caught up with the star.
“It wouldn’t hurt but I feel like all I really need is that competition in practice to get my feet back wet and get that competition,” Higgins said.
While he doesn’t need them to get ready for Week 1, he is inching closer to a return and has been seen participating in 7-on-7 drills, which is undoubtedly a step in the right direction and could show signs that he’s cleared prior to the last preseason’s game.
CB Eli Apple and WR Tee Higgins are both going through contact 7 on 7 drills.— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) August 7, 2022
A huge step for two players who had been limited
Conway also makes a great point relating to if Higgins is going to get snaps in the preseason even if he is cleared.
“Higgins did say he does think he will get team reps in practice by the end of training camp. Burrow having to undergo an emergency appendectomy the day before training camp is also a factor in Higgins’ return. It’s unlikely Taylor would put Higgins out on the field for a preseason game without Burrow starting. The risk is greater than the reward if this was to be the scenario,” she wrote.
Here’s to hoping we see Higgins and the rest of the recovering Bengals able to fully practice sooner rather than later.