Update on Cincinnati Bengals’ Injury Woes: COVID Sidelines Joe Mixon, Joe Burrow Sidelined with Leg Injury

Cincinnati Bengals: Locking Up Playoff Spot and AFC North Division Title

The Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) have secured their spot in the playoffs and clinched the AFC North division title. It was an impressive feat for a team that has faced adversity throughout the season. However, their upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 18 holds little significance for the Bengals. Both their star running back, Joe Mixon, testing positive for COVID-19, and their quarterback, Joe Burrow, nursing a leg injury, have put them at a disadvantage.

Mixon’s Absence and Perine Takes Charge

Joe Mixon, the talented running back for the Bengals, is currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This means that he will not be available for the game against the Browns. In his absence, the Bengals will turn to Samaje Perine to carry the load in the backfield. Perine has shown promise as a backup and is expected to step up as the starting running back on Sunday.

Burrow’s Injury and Allen as Backup QB

As for Joe Burrow, his leg injury has raised concerns about his availability for the Week 18 matchup. If Burrow is unable to play, Brandon Allen will step in as the backup quarterback for the Bengals. Allen has previous experience as a starter and will be tasked with leading the offense in Burrow’s absence.

Browns Struggling Without Mayfield

On the other side of the field, the Cleveland Browns (7-9) will also be without their starting quarterback. Baker Mayfield recently underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum, forcing him to miss the game against the Bengals. This absence poses a significant challenge for the Browns, as they rely heavily on Mayfield’s leadership and playmaking abilities.

Adjusted Betting Line and Odds

The news of the Bengals’ and Browns’ key injuries has led oddsmakers to adjust the betting line for their upcoming game. Despite the absence of Baker Mayfield, the Browns are still favored by -6 points against the Bengals. This reflects the perception that the Browns, even without their starting QB, have the upper hand against a Bengals team that is dealing with their own injury concerns.

In terms of Super Bowl 56 odds, the Bengals are currently listed at +2000 odds to win it all, according to the Westgate SuperBook. Additionally, they are given +900 odds to win the AFC Championship. These odds highlight the Bengals’ rise as a competitive team this season, despite the setbacks they have faced.

Cincinnati Studs: Mixon, Burrow, and Chase

Throughout the season, the Cincinnati Bengals have relied heavily on the contributions of their star players. Running back Joe Mixon, quarterback Joe Burrow, and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase have been key factors in the team’s success.

Mixon: Impressive Rushing and Receiving Stats

Joe Mixon has had an outstanding season, showcasing his abilities as both a rusher and a receiver. In 16 games, Mixon has rushed for an impressive 1,205 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. His rushing performance ranks him second overall in the league, trailing behind Jonathan Taylor. Mixon’s contribution as a receiver is equally notable, with 42 catches for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

Burrow and Chase: A Dynamic Duo

The connection between Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase has been a powerful force on the Bengals’ offense. Head coach Zac Taylor’s decision regarding Chase’s involvement in the Week 18 game is still uncertain, but signs point towards him earning a well-deserved rest. With Burrow’s influence, the Bengals drafted Chase as the fifth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Chase’s impact on the field has been remarkable for a rookie. He has scored 13 touchdowns, only trailing Cooper Kupp in that category. Additionally, Chase has recorded 79 receptions for 1,429 yards, placing him fourth overall in the league. His average of 18.1 yards per catch is the highest in the NFL. One of his standout performances came against the Kansas City Chiefs, where he torched their defense with 11 catches, 266 yards, and three touchdowns.

Chase: Betting Favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year

Ja’Marr Chase’s exceptional performance as a rookie has made him the front-runner for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. At DraftKings, he is currently listed as the favorite with -250 odds. The only other contender on the board is Mac Jones, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, with +190 odds.

Burrow: Rising Star Quarterback

In only his second season, Joe Burrow has shown tremendous growth as a quarterback. He has thrown for an impressive 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, with just 14 interceptions. Burrow’s completion rate stands at 70.4%, showcasing his accuracy and ability to lead the Bengals’ offense. He has also contributed two rushing touchdowns, further highlighting his versatility as a playmaker.


The Cincinnati Bengals have overcome numerous challenges this season to secure a playoff spot and win the AFC North division title. Despite the injuries to key players, they have shown resilience and depth in their roster. While their upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns may not hold much significance in terms of playoff implications, it will provide an opportunity for other players to step up and make an impact.


1. Will Joe Mixon be available for the Bengals’ playoff games?

Currently, Joe Mixon is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which means his availability for the playoffs is uncertain. The Bengals will monitor his situation closely and follow any protocols outlined by the league to ensure the safety of all players and personnel.

2. Are the Bengals considered strong contenders for the Super Bowl?

While the Bengals have had a successful season, they are still considered underdogs compared to other teams with stronger Super Bowl odds. However, in the game of football, anything can happen, and the Bengals have proven their ability to compete at a high level. They will certainly give their all in the playoffs and aim to exceed expectations.

3. Who will fill in for Baker Mayfield as the Browns’ starting quarterback?

With Baker Mayfield undergoing surgery for a torn labrum, the Browns will need to rely on their backup quarterbacks to take over. The exact replacement will be determined by the coaching staff based on their assessment of the available options and the game plan for the Bengals matchup.

4. How has Zac Taylor’s coaching impacted the Bengals’ success?

Zac Taylor’s coaching has played a significant role in the Bengals’ success this season. His leadership and ability to make strategic decisions have helped guide the team through challenging situations. Taylor’s consideration for player rest and recovery, as seen in the potential decision to rest Ja’Marr Chase, demonstrates his commitment to the team’s long-term success.

5. What are the expectations for the Bengals in the playoffs?

As the AFC North division champions, the Bengals have secured a place in the playoffs. While the road ahead will be tough, their goal will be to advance as far as possible and compete for the ultimate prize – the Super Bowl. With their talented roster and the potential return of key players from injury, the Bengals have the potential to surprise many and make a deep playoff run.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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