Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr is "on track," to play Sunday (4:25 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) at Paycor Stadium, ending his four-game absence against the Chiefs team he burned last season for an NFL rookie-record 266 yards.
But running back Joe Mixon is questionable after still not being cleared from concussion protocol as of the end of Friday's practice at the IEL Indoor Facility.
Chase, who played through an aggravated hairline hip fracture in the Oct. 26 win over the Panthers at Paycor, was averaging the same 86 yards per game as he did last year as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was also listed as questionable, but went full Friday for the first time since the injury.
"He did everything we needed to see," said head coach Zac Taylor of Chase's running and cutting. "I hate to use the words 'for sure,' but I'm optimistic. He's on track."
Taylor was less definitive about Mixon as he tries to get him back after missing last Sunday's win in Tennessee with tests apparently still needed to be done. Since he went out, backup Samaje Perine has 28 carries for 88 yards and three receiving touchdowns and Trayevon Williams has four carries for 25 yards and a 24-yard catch. Mixon was able to go limited Wednesday and Thursday and took the field Friday and Taylor says he can go if cleared.
"It's like last week," Taylor said. "If he plays, great. If not, we feel we feel comfortable with the crew of running backs we have."
Taylor wouldn't say if Chase is going to be on a pitch count as he comes back from missing his first NFL games.
SLANTS AND SCREENS: Taylor expects middle linebacker Logan Wilson to play after missing Friday's practice with an illness and despite listed as questionable. Nose tackle D.J. Reader (ankle), who missed Thursday's practice for personal reasons, was back and ready to go and was listed as limited Safety Vonn Bell (hamstring) surfaced on Friday's report but was not listed as questionable ...
Taylor opted for no pads this week for the first time this season. He usually goes once a week in them and has two padded practices left this season per the collective bargaining agreement.
"We're just at that point. It's essentially December for our guys," Taylor said. "It's at that point we want to make sure they're physically ready to go, taking care of their bodies. There's more soreness that lingers now as we've played 11 games." …