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Bengals Notebook: Mixon Out; Chase Questionable; Perine's Pass Blocking As Good As Pass Catching; Jonah's Job and Drue Looks To Duplicate

Samaje Perine gets the call on the road.
Samaje Perine gets the call on the road.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase went limited for the third time this week during Friday's practice at the IEL Indoor Facility and head coach Zac Taylor said after the workout he doesn't know if he's going to play in Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Tennessee.

Chase, the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year last season who was on a 1,469-yard pace, practiced this week for the first time since he played through a hip injury in the Oct. 23 win over the Falcons at Paycor Stadium.

"We've got plenty of guys that don't practice full that end up playing on Sunday," Taylor said. "It was a good week for him. There'll be more conversation in the next 48 hours."

Taylor said they'll make a game day decision and it won't be based on how he looks in pregame workouts. Taylor says if Chase does go he wouldn't say if he'd give him snap count.

"Our job is to protect him from himself. I won't make a commitment," Taylor said. "Games can evolve and everyone is different and there are different positions."

In Chase's absence, running back Joe Mixon set a Bengals-record five touchdowns in a Nov. 6 win over Carolina and wide receiver Tee Higgins put up a season-high 148 yards in a win in Pittsburgh last week to go along with a Halloween night loss in Cleveland.

Taylor ruled out Mixon (concussion) for the Titans after he didn't practice this week following his injury in the first half in Pittsburgh. He did say Trayveon Williams, off his first two carries of the season for seven yards last week, is going to be active for a third time this season and that they'll have a full complement of three backs because Chris Evans (knee) is back after missing last week.

In place of Evans, Williams rattled off the two longest kick returns of the season but Taylor wouldn't say which guy is going to back there Sunday.

MORE SAMAJE: The last time Perine spelled Mixon in a game is the last half of 2020 when Mixon was on injured reserve with a foot injury. That season Perine ran it 68 times for 301 yards for a 4.8-yard average that included a 95-yard day in Houston. He didn't get a carry in the one game Mixon has missed since, when he was rested in last season's finale in Cleveland.

Perine has carried it 36 times this year for 163 yards (a 4.5 average) giving him a 4.6 average in 154 career carries as a Bengal.

He's coming off a Bengals-record three touchdown catches for a running back, but his pass blocking is what to watch Sunday against a Tennessee defense that has the third most quarterback pressures in the NFL, according to Pro Football Reference. According to Pro Football Focus, Perine has the highest pass blocking efficiency rating among running backs on the field for at least 100 passes. On 28 pass blocks he's allowed just one pressure.

Mixon, Perine's college teammate at Oklahoma, looked the happier of the two in last Sunday's postgame locker room even though he carried just seven times for20 yards before getting concussed.

"A big day for one person is a big day for all of us," Perine said. "Every game we play is a playoff game from here on out."

After having the line of the season on Sunday, Perine had the line of the week about his magnificent beard: "I've got no hair on my head, I can't have no hair on my face, either."

JONAH'S JOB: Quarterback Joe Burrow couldn't say enough about the pass blocking of tackles La'el Collins on the right and Jonah Williams on the left last week.

"Jonah was locked in all day. And, you know, when you're going up against TJ Watt like LC was all day and we drop back the way that we are, and we didn't really help him that much," Burrow said after the game. "There weren't a lot of ribs and chips. So those guys were unbelievable. TJ's going to get one every now and then, but LC was lights out all day."

The Bengals drop back often and Williams kept that in mind after some outlets charged him with allowing three sacks in the opener.

"The opener was a bad game for everyone. We had 102 plays. I think I had 65 drop-back one-on-ones," Williams said. "I did lose a couple and I had to get back from that, but I look at that stuff and every play can be a sack or not a sack depending on what happens outside of you. For me, it's about what am I doing? What's my technique? I don't look at those stats. There are situations that are a lot easier and a lot tougher than others."

SLANTS AND SCREENS: Taylor said Drue Chrisman had a good week of punting after last week's solid NFL debut, but he wouldn't get into the roster situation that includes all-time Bengals punter Kevin Huber. Assuming Chrisman is elevated again from the practice squad on Saturday, he'll have just one elevation left before they have to sign him to the roster if they want him to continue to punt in games …

Rookie safety Dax Hill (shoulder) is officially questionable, but Taylor indicated he'll play …

The Bengals are going to miss the Titans' two best edge rushers. Harold Landry has been out for the year and Denico Autry (knee) couldn't get back from last week's injury … Their best pass rusher, tackle Jeffrey Simmons (ankle) is listed as questionable after being limited all week …

Old friend Randy Bullock, the Titans kicker, is questionable after not working Friday with a calf issue …

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