Joe Burrow went to the hospital after Sunday's 25-22 overtime loss to the Packers at Paul Brown Stadium with what the Bengals called a potential throat "contusion," which is a bruise.
Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who set a Bengals rookie record with 159 yards receiving on just six catches, said Burrow could speak during and after the game and he didn't think he had trouble doing it.
"Just talking about the game and how we could have got better," Chase said of the postgame conversation. "We played a hell of a game, honestly. We were just talking about we just have to let this game go. We played our hearts out. We just have to let this game go and go onto the next game on the road."
Burrow did take a shot late in the first half on a scramble that hushed the biggest PBS crowd in five years. The 64,195 saw Burrow fall three yards shy of the first down despite hurtling through the air on a scramble and taking a big hit from Packers safety Darnell Savage when he didn't slide. He lay on the turf for what seemed a bye week, but he bolted up, jogged off the field and then later jetted out of the injury tent, where they cleared him of a concussion.
Burrow slid on a later run, but Chase is urging more.
"He did it late in the game, right? Yeah, he knows how to slide. He's just hard headed," Chase said. "I told him don't scare me like that again. I told him, 'Slide. You need to start sliding.'"
RECEIVER FIELD DAY: Chase keeps on going. On Sunday he added his career-long catch, a 70-yarder that was his third touchdown catch of at least 34 yards with at least 37 seconds left in the half. He's got four of those TDs that are that long already, joining Randy Moss (1998) as the only rookies since the 1970 merger with at least four TD receptions of at least 34 yards in their first five games and Chase is the first one to do it in this century, according to Elias.
He also broke Darnay Scott's Bengals rookie record of 157 yards set on Nov. 6, 1994, also in overtime in quarterback Jeff Blake's first NFL victory in Seattle.
But that wasn't even the best day on the field. That belonged to the unbelievable Davante Adams, who willed the Packers to the win with 206 yards on 11 catches in just the sixth 200-yard receiving game against the Bengals. It's the fourth most and the most since the Rams' Cooper Kupp went for 220 in London two years ago.
Chase was so impressed he asked for the shirt off Adams' back.
"I went up to him and just asked for his jersey because he's one of my idols," Chase said. "I don't have it yet.
"One of the best receivers in the league. It's hard to double somebody like that. He is the best receiver in the league, and he just showed why. The only time I was watching him I was just trying to watch his releases coming off the ball, get some separation, which basically makes getting down the field much easier."
Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who was assigned to follow Adams in a bevy of coverages, gulped when he heard Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers targeted Adams 16 times.
"Really? Wow," Awuzie said before outlining what exactly the Bengals tried. "Everything … We tried a lot of things. Great players, great connection between those two. We had some roll coverages, we had some double coverages. We had some single coverages. We had quarters, we had man, we had zone, we had everything. I think that's the type of defense we are. We have to focus on what we do. So far we have been able to do it all. I think it's going to help us later on in the season playing this type of coverages."
Give Awuzie credit for coming into the media room and talking about it. He played his guts out and had nothing to be ashamed of. He's one of these stand-up guys head coach Zac Taylor has brought into the locker room and why they think this is the group that can get them over the hump.
"That's the toughest game I've ever been in," said Awuzie after grabbing his first Bengals interception in his fifth game here and 54th in the NFL.
SHOCKING MISS: Here's another stand-up guy.
Ten days ago Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson was on top of the world against Jacksonville with his second kick to win a game on the last snap in his first four games. But in the fifth game on Sunday he missed two winners, a 57-yarder with 21 seconds left in regulation and a 49-yarder with 4:14 left in overtime.
Give the kid credit. He came into the media room and faced the music of one of the weirdest sound tracks NFL films ever chronicled. According to Elias, never in the 51 years of the merger had five field goals been missed in the last three minutes of regulation or overtime. And it goes without saying five potential go-ahead field goals in the fourth quarter or overtime.
He wanted to sound like it was going to bounce off him just like the 57-yarder glanced against the right upright. So he approached the podium whistling. But the 49-yarder in OT that grazed the flag at the top of the left upright clearly had him bugged.
"I honestly, I was celebrating before the ball, I guess, curved to the left. But for me, what I saw was that I struck it really well," McPherson said. "And I saw it going right down the middle. I guess you could say I kind of know whenever it's going to go in. That was one of those moments. I was celebrating with (holder) Kevin (Huber) when it hit a hard left.
"I couldn't really tell you. Maybe a big gust of wind caught it right at the last second. But I struck it well. I'm upset about it, but there's nothing really I can do about it now. Just kind of move onto Detroit and the next kick. Now we're preparing for Detroit and go up there and get a good road win."
Part of PBS legend is that no matter how dead the wind is on the field, it still gently swirls the upright flag so that it doesn't always give you the right direction. Packers kicker Mason Crosby, who missed three winners in 10 minutes before hitting the one, told McPherson after the game he had trouble reading the wind.
"The wind wasn't too bad. I know today was supposed to stay around 10 to 15 (miles per hour). And what I felt, if any, was a little wind to my face. I didn't really feel like it was right to left," McPherson said. "I thought there was no chance I was really missing left. If anything, I thought the wind was blowing left to right. That, I guess you could say, when the ball turned left, it kind of caught me off guard. Honestly, I thought the refs were playing a game with us whenever I looked down there and they were doing the "no good" motion. I honestly thought they were playing a game because I struck it really well and I was really confident that it was going through.
"I had a pretty good game plan with the wind. I knew what it was doing. Going into that kick, I thought I knew what it was going to do. But obviously, the ball had different plans. But it's all right. Tough loss, but we'll move on and bounce back from this."
Top shots from the Bengals hosting the Green Bay Packers in Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season.