NASHVILLE _ With wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (hip) scratched for the fourth straight game, Bengals rookie wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II was set to make his NFL debut working on special teams against the Titans at Nissan Stadium.
While the 6-4 Bengals warmed up in the blustery conditions for the AFC showdown with the Titans and their AFC South leading 7-3 record, the predicted wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour emerged as a factor in that kicking game. Plus, the Titans have turned to rookie kicker Caleb Shudak for his NFL debut because of Randy Bullock's calf injury. Weather reports put the wind at between 15 and 25 miles per hour with Kevin Huber inactive and Bengals punter Drue Chrisman up again a week after making his NFL debut in Pittsburgh.
The Bengals appear to be hoping for Chase's return next week against the AFC West-leading Chiefs at Paycor Stadium. The same with running back Joe Mixon (concussion), missing a game that counts Sunday for the first time since 2020.
Also inactive was backup defensive end Jeffrey Gunter after he had played three straight game coming back from an injury. Also out were injured nose tackle Josh Tupou (calf) ands backup offensive linemen Jackson Carman and D'Ante Smith.
SLANTS AND SCREENS: Sunday starts a final stretch in which five of the seven teams the Bengals play have winning records. At .611 they have the second toughest schedule for AFC playoff contenders ….
How about this Sunday morning graphic on NFL Network? The Bengals are 6-4 averaging 26.8 points per game, allowing 21.5 and have a passer rating of 103.1 with 32 total touchdowns. Last year at this time they were 6-4, scoring 26.5, allowing 21.5 with a passer rating of 103.0 with 32 total touchdowns.
Now that slot receiver Tyler Boyd is past Cris Collinsworth and in fifth place on the Bengals all-time list with 427 catches, 26th on the NFL active list, two behind Marcedes Lewis …
Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, a two-time Mr. Football for Tennessee from nearby Oak Ridge, Tenn., comes in as their leading receiver with 712 yards, 13th in the league …