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Zac Taylor gives injury updates on Tee Higgins and Irv Smith Jr.

Will either play in Week 5?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are hitting the practice field soon to prepare for the Arizona Cardinals, but Tee Higgins won’t be out there.

During his Wednesday press conference, head coach Zac Taylor gave a brief update on Higgins, who is dealing with a rib fracture sustained in the team’s Week 4 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Higgins will not practice today and is considered day-to-day. The wideout previously said he hopes to play this week and, if not, return for the Week 6 game vs. the Seattle Seahawks.

The Bengals and Higgins are in a pretty tough spot entering Week 5. On one hand, the Bengals need wins now, and Higgins is in a contract year, so missing time will further damage his hopes of earning a massive contract in the 2024 offseason.

On the other hand, the Bengals are just two weeks away from the bye, so resting Higgins for these next two games along with the bye could ensure he’s as healthy as possible for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Another offensive starter on the mend is tight end Irv Smith Jr., who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Thankfully, he will practice today, according to Taylor.

Smith, now in his fifth NFL season, is also in a contract year after signing a one-year deal this offseason. He’s currently at five grabs for 27 yards in two games and could be in for a big workload this week if he plays and Higgins sits out.