Joe Mixon is a top-12 back in all formats, worthy of a pick early in Round 2. This will be Mixon's first year in Cincinnati without Giovani Bernard, who has averaged 52 targets per year the past four seasons. Mixon's career high in catches is 43, but without Bernard we expect Mixon to top 50 catches. The only thing left stopping Mixon from being a top-five back is whether the Bengals offense and offensive line can push him over the top. For that to happen they'll need to improve on Mixon's 3.6 yards per carry from 2020 and get him to double-digit touchdowns for the first time in his career. Don't rule either out.
Mixon is pleased with the hiring of offensive line coach Frank Pollack, who previously held the same job for Cincinnati in 2018, ESPN's Ben Baby reports. The 2018 season was the best of Mixon's career, featuring high-water marks for rushing yards (1,168), total yards (1,464), touchdowns (nine) and YPC (4.9), even though he missed two games. He voiced his frustration on Twitter back in 2019 when the Bengals parted ways with Pollack and allowed new head coach Zac Taylor to bring in Jim Turner for the O-line job. Turner is now gone, with Taylor recruiting Pollack in January and giving him the additional title of run-game coordinator. Pollack is tasked with fixing a line that was one of the league's worst last season, hoping the offseason additions of veteran RT Riley Reiff and rookie guard Jackson Carman (second-round pick) can help turn things around. A healthier season from Mixon would also go a long way, and the veteran back reportedly looked healthy at OTAs after missing 10 games with a foot injury last season. He'll turn 25 in July, entering the first season of a four-year, $48 million extension.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Mixon (foot) is healthy and feeling good, NFL.com reports. Mixon missed the final 10 games of the regular season but never ended up needing surgery. His foot apparently got better with rest, so he should be ready to practice whenever the Bengals first take the field. There's been talk of Giovani Bernard being traded or released, which could in turn free up more passing-down snaps and targets for Mixon, a capable pass catcher in his own right.
Mixon (foot) will not suit up against the Ravens in Week 17, Marisa Contipelli of the Bengals' official site reports. Mixon won't return from IR for Sunday's game against the Ravens, priming Giovani Bernard for another start while Samaje Perine works behind him. The 24-year-old hasn't played since Week 6. Mixon concludes the 2020 campaign with 428 rushing yards (3.6 YPC) and three scores across six contests. He also secured 21 of 26 targets for 138 yards and another touchdown.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that Mixon (foot) won't play Sunday against the Texans, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports. Beyond that, Taylor noted "we'll see about next week" with regard to the possibility of the running back returning for the Bengals' Jan. 3 season finale versus the Ravens. In Mixon's ongoing absence, Giovani Bernard, will continue to head the team's backfield, with Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams on hand to work in complementary roles.
Coach Zac Taylor said Saturday that Mixon (foot) has not had any changes to his injury designation, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports. Taylor declined to reveal whether Mixon has sought a second opinion on his injury, but he at least affirmed that the 24-year-old will not require surgery. Mixon is set to miss his eighth straight contest due to his lingering foot issue, and while it still appears as though he could still come off IR before the end of the season, the Bengals haven't offered anything resembling an official timetable for his return. Giovani Bernard, Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine will continue to work out of the backfield in the meantime.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|5||10/10||Green Bay Packers||27||20.33|
|8||10/31||@New York Jets||20||18.00|
|11||11/21||@Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|13||12/05||Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|14||12/12||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|17||01/02||Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||211||911||5||33||240||2||157|