Skip to main content

Quick Hits: Bengals Try To Keep Winning Cold War; Hubbard Won't Pick Iconic Moment; Ja'Marr Chase Expecting More Attention

Ja'Marr Chase had no problem with the cold Thursday, either.
Ja'Marr Chase had no problem with the cold Thursday, either.

Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard said he voted Thursday to practice on the grass fields outside because Sunday's AFC title game (6:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) against the Chiefs is on the grass of Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.

It sounded like it wasn't unanimous, but a couple of key guys carried the day.

Even though Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase had roamed through last Sunday's flakes in his first snow game as if he had been born at the North Pole (he scored the game's first touchdown and led the team with 61 receiving yards), he admitted he wanted nothing to do with Thursday's 34-degree day.

"The cold? Hell no," said Chase, the Louisiana native, after Thursday's practice, still bundled in a hooded sweat shirt under his No. 1 jersey. "Once I got drafted here I had no choice but to be ready for the cold. We practiced outside today, actually. I'd rather be inside, but if the quarterback says we need to be outside, we've got to outside. So that's what it is."

It is, as they say, what it is.

"I wanted to practice outside," said head coach Zac Taylor, "so we were outside today.

"Not quite as cold as it's going to be, but it's the last day outside for us. Players had a good attitude about it and we had a good practice."

The expected temperature for Sunday's kickoff keeps inching up, but there is an overnight low of 12 degrees predicted. The coldest game in the Burrow Era is the 17-degree Christmas Eve win in New England.

Taylor is a creature of habit. Ever since the Bengals opened the IEL Indoor Facility the first week of November, the Bengals haven't lost practicing indoors every Friday. He's following last week's routine, working on the Paycor Stadium turf Wednesday, going across the street to the grass fields Thursday and finishing up the week's work inside Friday.

Plus, they use the indoor every day for their pre-practice walk-throughs.  

"(The indoor facility) has been great," Taylor said. "The really big difference is just the walk-throughs. We do so much work in the walk-throughs, to be able to avoid the elements and get in there has been great. Our energy on red zone days on Friday has been great in there."

Another guy that had never played in the snow can't explain how he made a truly remarkable one-handed catch on the sidelines in Orchard Park on Sunday.

"He threw it out there a little quicker than I thought," said wide receiver Tee Higgins, Tennessee born and bred. "But my job is to catch it, so I just reached out my hand and I was able to grab it and reel it in.

 "I'm not a cold guy, but I'll do anything to help this team get a win. Whatever they have us doing I've got to do it. (Burrow) can make any call he wants. He definitely wanted to get that cold practice in."

So did Taylor. In Bengaldom these days, that's a majority of two.

"We've got some guys whose votes count more than the rest," said Hubbard, who was amazed how the offensive players performed last Sunday. "I thought that was really cool. We've got a lot of tough guys. Whether it's battling through injuries or whatever type of adversity, we just continue to overcome it and weather is no different."

SLANTS AND SCREENS: It looks like the Bengals are going with the same offensive line they rolled out in Buffalo with right guard Alex Cappa (ankle) and left tackle Jonah Williams (knee) out of practice again Thursday. Cappa was walking around practice without a boot for the second straight day …

Tight end Hayden Hurst (calf) surfaced on the injury report as a limited participant, indicating it happened during the day. Hurst hurt his calf early in the Dec. 4 win over the Chiefs and missed the next three games …

 Cornerback Tre Flowers (hamstring) looks good after missing last week. He went full for the first time Thursday. Backup linebacker Joe Bachie (foot) went limited …

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (ankle) went full for the second straight day, which surprised absolutely 0.0 at Paycor.

"We expect him to be in full form," said Hubbard, as he ran down what makes Mahomes so special. "You name it. Arm strength, football IQ, athleticism, awareness. He's got all the tools." ….

Before his 98-yard Fumble in the Jungle in the AFC Wild Card two weeks ago, Hubbard's back-to-back sacks of Mahomes in the low red zone that forced overtime in last season's AFC title game was the iconic Cincinnati Kid moment.

Which one is bigger?

"Why pick?" Hubbard asked. "We need another big moment this Sunday." …

Chase says one of his best buddies from LSU is Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. But they won't talk this week …

Last season Chase set the NFL rookie single game record with 266 yards in the regular-season win over the Chiefs. One of the reasons Kansas City revamped its secondary. When the Bengals beat the Chiefs back on Dec. 4, it was Chase's first game back after missing four with a hairline hip fracture and he caught seven more balls for 97 yards.

He says they double-teamed him last year, but didn't do that as much last month. He thinks that's because he had been out awhile, but he's expecting more doubles Sunday …