Bengals Injury Report: Higgins, Awuzie Questionable for Seahawks Game
The Cincinnati Bengals are hoping to bounce back from their disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 5, but they will have to do so without some key players. The Bengals released their final injury report on Friday, listing wide receiver Tee Higgins and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Higgins Hopes to Return After Missing Two Games
Higgins, who leads the team with 16 receptions and 194 yards, has missed the last two games with a rib injury. He practiced all week and was a full participant on Friday, indicating that he has a good chance of playing on Sunday. Higgins said he felt good after practice and was optimistic about his status.
“I’m feeling great. I’m feeling like I’m ready to go,” Higgins said. “I’m just going to go out there and do what I do best and that’s play football.”
Higgins’ return would be a huge boost for the Bengals offense, which has struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone. Higgins has a knack for making contested catches and has a strong rapport with quarterback Joe Burrow. He also has a favorable matchup against the Seahawks secondary, which ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed per game (430.4).
Awuzie Faces Former Team After Back Injury
Awuzie, who signed with the Bengals as a free agent in March, has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league this season. He ranks second in the NFL in passes defended (9) and has one interception and one forced fumble. He also leads the team in tackles (36) and has been a leader on and off the field.
However, Awuzie suffered a back injury in Week 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and did not play against the Packers. He was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, leaving doubtless his availability for Sunday. Awuzie said he was feeling better but did not want to rush his recovery.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Awuzie said. “I don’t want to put myself in a position where I’m hurting myself or hurting the team. I’m just listening to my body and listening to the trainers.”
Awuzie admitted that he would love to play against his former team, the Seahawks, who drafted him in the second round in 2017. He spent four seasons with the Seahawks, recording 213 tackles, four interceptions, and 33 passes defended. He said he still has friends on the team and respects their organization.
“It would be fun to play against them,” Awuzie said. “They’re a great team, they have a great culture, they have a great quarterback. It would be a great challenge for us.”
Other Injuries to Monitor
The Bengals also listed linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (knee) and defensive end Myles Murphy (personal) as out for Sunday’s game. Davis-Gaither has been a key contributor on defense and special teams, while Murphy has been a rotational player on the defensive line.
Linebacker Devin Harper (hamstring) is doubtful for Sunday’s game. Harper is a rookie who has played mostly on special teams.
The Seahawks have their own injury issues, as they will be without star quarterback Russell Wilson (finger) and running back Chris Carson (neck) for Sunday’s game. Wilson underwent surgery on his right middle finger after injuring it in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams. Carson has been dealing with a chronic neck issue that flared up last week.
The Seahawks will start backup quarterback Geno Smith, who played well in relief of Wilson against the Rams. Smith completed 10 of 17 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also led a potential game-tying drive that ended with an interception by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The Seahawks also listed guard Damien Lewis (ankle), wide receiver DK Metcalf (ribs), cornerback Coby Bryant (toe), cornerback Artie Burns (hamstring), and tackle Charles Cross (toe) as questionable for Sunday’s game. Lewis and Metcalf did not practice all week, while Bryant, Burns, and Cross were limited on Friday.
Guard Phil Haynes (calf), safety Jamal Adams (concussion), linebacker Jordyn Brooks (knee), defensive tackle Jarran Reed (shin), defensive end Dre’Mont Jones (ankle), and quarterback Geno Smith (knee) are expected to play on Sunday. They were all full participants in practice on Friday.
The Bengals and the Seahawks will kick off at 4:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals are looking to improve their record to 3-3, while the Seahawks are hoping to avoid falling to 2-4. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2019, when the Seahawks won 21-20 in Seattle.