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Report: Bengals plan for Ja’Marr Chase to return in Week 13

Are the Bengals on the verge of doing exactly what they did last year? Mike Florio says things are "playing out perfectly" for Cincinnati after they somehow seemed to enter the season without a target on their backs despite being the reigning Super Bowl Champions.

Last week, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow made some waves when he said in his Wednesday press conference that the Bengals were expecting Ja’Marr Chase to return for the club’s Week 12 matchup with Tennessee.

Clearly, that didn’t end up being the case — though Cincinnati won anyway. But things are looking more like Chase will be back on the field when the Bengals play the Chiefs in Week 13.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the plan is for Chase to return against Kansas City.

Chase has been out since catching eight passes for 130 yards with two touchdowns against the Falcons in Week Seven. In his second season, Chase has 47 receptions for 605 yards with six touchdowns in 2022.

Head coach Zac Taylor seemed optimistic about Chase’s return for next week in his postgame press conference on Sunday.

“Just ultimately, we thought that was the smartest decision,” Taylor said of keeping Chase sidelined for the game against Tennessee, via the team’s website. “You get a chance to get him back, practice for a week. Felt really encouraged with where he’s at. And ultimately, as we got closer to the game, it was, ‘Let’s get him back to practice next week and then make that decision.’

“But yeah, there’s not a gameplan on how this thing was going to unfold. I think ultimately, we’re happy with how it played out that we didn’t put him on IR. So, he got a chance to practice a week earlier than he would have. So now we can go into next week, I’m not going to make any promises, but feeling like, ‘OK, we’ve seen him on the grass.’ I think he’s feeling pretty good. And so we’ll just evaluate where he’s at starting next Wednesday.”

Though they started 2-3, the Bengals have won three in a row and five of their last six. Chase should provide another boost as the team prepares for the stretch run.