Higgins questionable for Week 5; won’t reach ORT until Week 8

Bengals’ WR Tee Higgins is questionable for Sunday’s game at Baltimore due to the sprained ankle he picked up in Week 4. This designation directly contrasts statements made by Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator, Brian Callahan, who said there was “zero concern” that Higgins would have to miss Week 5.

The sprain occurred in the second half of Cincinnati’s Thursday night win over the Dolphins, and Higgins missed a handful of offensive series’ before returning and finishing the game. His final statline was the best he’s put up thus far in 2022, with seven receptions for 124 yards and one touchdown.

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Due to the injury occurring on a Thursday, Higgins has had a few extra days to rest up, but he’s been limited at practice all week. This isn’t uncommon for ankle sprains, and while other position groups can play well on sprained ankles, wide receivers tend to struggle more with these types of injuries.

The ankle is a network of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles that allow the foot to move up and down. Ankle sprains involve damage to the ligaments, ranging from stretching to full tears. When sprained, the ankle’s mobility is limited, meaning players like Higgins can’t jump, cut, or sprint like they’re used to.

The majority of receivers dealing with ankle sprains struggle to regain pre-injury performance in their first game back. Our algorithm predicts Higgins is dealing with a Grade 2 sprain, which indicates some tearing. As a result, his Injury Risk is High (35%) and his Health Performance Factor is Poor (38%). Higgins is still 22 days away from Optimal Recovery, meaning he won’t return to pre-injury levels of health and performance until Week 8 or 9.

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