Bengals Receive Rough Injury Update On Hayden Hurst

Hayden Hurst, Bengals
NFL Analysis Network

The Cincinnati Bengals extended their winning streak to four games with another impressive victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. Cincinnati has now defeated the Chiefs three consecutive games in the last 12 months as they are the only team that remains undefeated against Patrick Mahomes in his career.

The Bengals are playing at a high level and peaking at the right time as we are heading into the stretch run of the regular season. Cincinnati has their eyes set on another long playoff run as they advanced to the Super Bowl last season, where they lost to the Los Angeles Rams.

Getting Ja’Marr Chase back in the lineup against the Chiefs was certainly a boost as he made his presence felt right away. He caught seven passes for 97 yards in his first game back in the lineup since Week 7 against the Atlanta Falcons because of a hip injury.

But, right as they got one player back healthy, another one is heading to the sidelines. Tight end Hayden Hurst was injured early in the game against the Chiefs, as he hurt his calf. He was unable to get back in the game and head coach Zac Taylor is not optimistic about Hurst getting on the field in Week 14.

Taylor said that it was doubtful that Hurst would be on the field Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. That would be a sizable loss for the Bengals as Hurst has been a solid, steady contributor this season.

The first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of South Carolina is third on the team with 48 receptions and fourth with 400 yards. He scored two touchdowns as well, providing Joe Burrow with a consistent safety net in the middle of the field on short and intermediate routes.

Without him in the lineup, the Bengals will turn to Mitchell Wilcox and Devin Asiasi, who are next on the depth chart. Wilcox has appeared in 12 games, catching seven passes for 60 yards. Asiasi has played in nine games but is without a catch this season.

Unless they see an uptick in targets, we could see Burrow rely more on slot receiver Tyler Boyd with Hurst out of the lineup. Running backs Joe Mixon, should he be healthy enough to return, and Samaje Perine could be involved more as well to compensate for the loss of their starting tight end.