Bengals running back Joe Mixon broke through for his first media availability since a season-ending foot injury back in October and like he does in the open field, he never disappoints.
Such was the case before Friday's practice when he not only pronounced himself fit, but the rest of the offense fit enough to bestow a nickname.
"The Fabulous Five," Mixon told the Bengals press corps as he anointed his three wide receivers and quarterback Joe Burrow. "I was thinking 'Fantastic Four.' Me. Jamar (Chase), Tee (Higgins) and TB (Tyler Boyd). But I can't forget my dog Joey B. I had to throw in 'The Fabulous Five,' there … Five people that are real life big play guys. Home run guys."
Mixon, who missed the last ten games and a shot for a third straight 1,000-yard season, says the nickname just came off the top of his head. But he's always known what his role is here as he heads into his fifth season.
"For me, it always starts up front and with me and how physical I am coming at it in the game," Mixon said. "I'm going to set the tone. I always set the tone for the team. And they feed off of me. There are a lot of plays and a lot of yards out there."
Mixon tried to gut it out that day Indianapolis. He said he hurt it on the carry before he mushed in a grinding seven-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. That gave him 44 yards on 11 carries and when he came back in the second half he could manage just 10 yards on seven carries.
"I was trying to play through it. The team needed me, and I'd do whatever I can that's best for me and the team," said Mixon, who was declared 100 percent in early spring. "I was just trying to beast it out, go back out there and do what I can. Unfortunately that wasn't able to happen. .. At one point I remember Coach was saying get back in there. I know I felt it, but at the same time I was like I know something is going on but I don't know exactly what it is. Just try to go back out there and beast it out. I went back out there, knew something was wrong, still got in the end zone and after that I went back to the sideline and I took off my shoe. I was like damn that's crazy."
SLANTS AND SCREEENS: New Bengals right tackle Riley Reiff also met the press for the first time after missing the last couple of days with an ankle tweak, so he looks ready to go.