Bengals’ WR Ja’Marr Chase will return to practice this week, according to head coach Zac Taylor.
Chase appeared to have first injured his hip in Cincinnati’s Week 6 win over New Orleans, but it wasn’t until the following week that the injury was deemed serious. X-rays revealed a fracture and the Bengals weighed putting him on IR, however after speaking with specialists and further evaluating the injury the team decided not to.
The injury was described as a hip fracture, which often goes one of two ways: femur fractures near the hip joint (most common) or acetabular fractures in the socket. Based on footage of Chase’s activity leading up to Week 8 when he was ruled out, we believe it was the latter.
Acetabular fractures are breaks in the socket portion of the “ball-and-socket” hip joint The majority of acetabular fractures are caused by a sudden thrust of force going up the femur and essentially slamming the ball of the femur into the wall of the socket.
Such a force can be seen on Chase’s third quarter touchdown catch in Week 6 against the Saints. He is seen planting his right leg firmly into the ground while the weight of his body pulls him forward. At the same time, he is being dragged down by Saints’ CB Paulson Abedo. The action of planting his leg into the ground with the weight of Abedo on top of him is the exact type of high-energy event that could cause an acetabular fracture.
The good thing about Chase’s injury is that he managed to play in Week 7 against the Falcons, which indicates the fracture wasn’t severe (severe acetabular fractures can cause extensive bleeding and other significant injuries that require immediate attention).
That being said, we don’t think Chase is ready to play. Our algorithm predicts he is still 24 days away from Optimal Recovery. With that, his Injury Risk is High (30%) and his Health Performance Factor is Poor (31%).
The Bengals – from the outside – appear to be feeling good about Chase’s progress, with Zac Taylor “Everything has been positive up to this point, which we hoped it would be,” about his recovery and rehab. Taylor didn’t comment on if he thought Chase would play, instead saying the team would evaluate how he looked in practice and make a decision from there.