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Bengals Pregame Quick Hits: Ja'Marr Active As Bengals Play Another Big One Vs. Chiefs

WR Ja'Marr Chase warms up before kickoff of the Bengals-Chiefs game on Sunday, December 31 in Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season.
WR Ja'Marr Chase warms up before kickoff of the Bengals-Chiefs game on Sunday, December 31 in Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Even before Pro Bowl wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase got on the plane Saturday for the trip to Sunday's game against the Chiefs, there was the sense he was going to try and play with his sprained shoulder against the Chiefs.

Chase hit the Arrowhead Stadium turf about two-and-a-half hours before kickoff for his usual routine with wide receivers coach Troy Walters and that paved the way for head coach Zac Taylor to make him active. With no wide receivers promoted from the practice squad, the Bengals went with six receivers with hopes Chase has no setbacks during the game.

After missing his only game of the season last week in Pittsburgh, Chase gives quarterback Jake Browning a huge target whether he's 100% or not. He comes in averaging 16.4 yards per catch and 123 yards per game in four career shots at the Chiefs.

The Bengals were down a gunner when backup slot cornerback Jalen Davis (groin) couldn't go. But with Chase back, as well as No. 1 cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt, rookie wide receiver Andre Iosivas and rookie cornerback DJ Turner could go back to covering punts.

Taylor-Britt (ankle) returns for the first time in five games and returns to the field where he played so well in last year's AFC title game. It also gives a lift to the Bengals special teams, which basically re-made themselves this season after allowing a 27-yard punt in the last minute of that game and comes in ranked sixth.

Joining Davis on the inactive list are four players who were on it last week in Pittsburgh: Running back Chris Evans, offensive linemen Trey Hill and D'Ante Smith, and defensive tackle Travis Bell.

SLANTS AND SCREENS: Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is threatening to become the first quarterback since Drew Brees in 2011 to lead the NFL in completion percentage and yards. But he still hasn't been hot enough to pass Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on the all-time completion percentage list.

Burrow is sitting at No. 1 at 68% since his season-ending wrist injury, ahead of Brees' 67.7. Jimmy Garoppolo is third at 67.4 and Tagovailoa is next at 67.2 …

Taylor doesn't unveil his game captains until the coin toss, but would there be any surprise if left tackle Orlando Brown is one? Brown was the Chiefs left tackle in the previous two AFC title games against the Bengals. As it turned out, Brown was joined by center Ted Karras. The Chiefs countered as one of their game captains with Mike Edwards, the safety out of Cincinnati's Winton Woods High School.

Taylor caught Chase's comments this past week about how nothing stands out about the and it won't surprise him if the Chiefs tried to use it during the week ...

"You play what you can. You play what you can," Taylor said. "Does it ultimately matter? I think anybody's guess is as good as mine."

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