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Bengals Pregame Quick Hits: Higgins Looks To Tee It Up; Awuzie Up; Game Of (Young) Ages; Why It Could Be Special Again

QB Joe Burrow talks with Pete Carroll before kickoff of the Seahawks-Bengals game on Sunday, October 15 in Week 6 of the 2023 season.
QB Joe Burrow talks with Pete Carroll before kickoff of the Seahawks-Bengals game on Sunday, October 15 in Week 6 of the 2023 season.

With Bengals' two-time 1,000-yard wide receiver Tee Higgins active for Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) against the Seahawks, look for him to put in a full day's work at Paycor Stadium.

Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is also up after missing last week's win in Arizona with a back issue and has a rotational partner in rookie DJ Turner.

Higgins, who fractured a rib two weeks ago in Tennessee and didn't go last Sunday, indicated last week that if he got the call he hoped that meant he could play the career-high 81 percent of the snaps he's played this season. At the very least he'll be available for his ball skills in the low red zone, where he's scored both of his touchdowns in 2023.

Turner made his first NFL start in Arizona and has won enough confidence of the coaches to play more than half the snaps in the first five games. They're easing in Awuzie off his ACL rehab, but he did play a season-high 85 percent of the plays two weeks ago before he came up with the back problem a few days before the win over the Cards.

Also active is the other rookie cornerback, DJ Ivey, after he made his NFL debut last week. With linebacker Devin Harper (hamstring) inactive, Ivey has been called on for special teams. That's two special teams backers out because Akeem Davis-Gaither (knee) is out for the third straight week. Also scratched are defensive tackle Jay Tufele and offensive linemen Trey Hill and D'Ante Smith.

GAME OF AGES: The Bengals come in with the second youngest roster in the NFL and Seattle the fourth and it just doesn't feel that way. Veteran head coach Pete Carroll has his Seattle team playing like it always does with a solid defense that gives up few big plays, an efficient offense that doesn't turn it over, and a top ten special teams that have combined to make Seattle 3-1.

And Bengals head coach Zac Taylor admitted Friday it just doesn't feel like his team is that young, but he rightly concludes his depth is but his starters aren't.

In getting his players ready this week, Bengals cornerbacks coach Charles Burks talked to his room about how the Seahawks have stayed among the NFL's contenders during Carroll's 14 seasons.

Burks emphasized how Seattle has an identity and while players come and go, the team looks the same. He particularly underscored how much production they always seem to get from young players.

"We're playing a team with one of the great NFL head coaches. I guy I have a lot of respect for," said Bengals center Ted Karras during the week.

SPECIAL DAY AGAIN? It will be recalled when the Bengals beat Carroll's two-time NFC champs here eight years ago this week rallying from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit, special teams were huge. In a clip Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons still shows because he orchestrated it, the Bengals ran the field goal team on with a clicking clock to get Mike Nugent's tying field goal at the end of regulation. Nugent then won it with another field goal in overtime.

The stats say the kicking game could be huge again. Seattle comes in top ten in both returns, and is first covering punts, where the Bengals are third in returning after wide receiver Trenton Irwin popped 28- and 21-yarders last week. Plus, Seattle kicker Jason Myers has a five field-goal game this year. He's 0-for-2 from 50 while the Bengals' Evan McPherson is 2-for-4 and has missed just two from anywhere while Myers has missed four.