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CINCINNATI — Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase returned to practice Wednesday ahead of his potential return to the field Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Chase practiced for the first time since a hip injury forced the wideout to miss three games. Chase participated in drills during the open-to-the-media portion of practice and caught a number of passes from quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow said Chase ran Tuesday and is on track to play this weekend.
“We expect him to play,” Burrow said. “I know he ran yesterday and he felt good. So we’ll see how the rest of the week goes.”
Chase hasn’t played since the Bengals’ Week 7 win over the Atlanta Falcons, where he had eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. At the time, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Chase could be out four to six weeks. Sunday marked five weeks since Chase last played.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor was a bit more secretive than his quarterback about Chase’s prognosis. Taylor said he had not seen Chase practice since the injury and described his availability as day-to-day.
Still, Taylor admits that Chase’s rehabilitation process has gone well.
“He’s done all the things we’ve asked him to do,” Taylor said Wednesday. “He’s done a great job with the coaches in there. Everything has been positive up to this point.”
Burrow reiterated that Chase has been working hard to return to the field and rest his hip as needed for Cincinnati’s playoff push. The Bengals (6-4) will face the AFC South-leading Titans (7-3) on Sunday as the start of a seven-game final slate that includes five opponents ahead of them in the AFC standings.
According to Burrow, Chase has been in some team meetings as he tries to balance his rehab work, stay engaged and “be exactly the type of teammate you would expect.”
If Chase returns this weekend, he will join a Bengals offense that has become one of the league’s best. Cincinnati ranks third in the NFL in points per game. driving and third in offensive points per match.
“I know as soon as he’s ready to go, he’ll be back, ready to play and continue to play,” Burrow said.