There was good and bad news in the Cincinnati Bengals' final Week 4 injury report in preparation for tonight's home game against Trevor Lawrence and the winless Jacksonville Jaguars. The bad news is that receiver Tee Higgins (shoulder) and safety Jessie Bates III (neck) will be inactive for Thursday night's game. Higgins, who didn't play in Cincinnati's Week 3 win in Pittsburgh, did not practice this week. Bates also did not practice after recording eight tackles in the Bengals' 24-10 win over the Steelers.
The good news for Cincinnati is that offensive tackle Riley Reiff will play despite missing time earlier this week with an ankle injury sustained against the Steelers. More good news is that cornerback Trae Waynes is set to make his long-awaited debut with the Bengals after missing the entire 2020 season and the first three games of the 2021 season with injuries. The 11th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Waynes was a full-time starter during his final three seasons with the Vikings. He penned a three-year, $42 million deal with the Bengals in March of 2020.
The Bengals also announced that cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (groin) and guard Xavier Su'a-Filo (knee) are doubtful after both players missed practice throughout the week. Darius Phillips, who also appeared on the team's injury report this week with a hand injury, is slated to replace Phillips if he is inactive on Thursday night. Bengals coach Zac Taylor has already announced that rookie Jackson Carman will make his second consecutive start regardless of Su'a-Filo's game day status. The second-round pick enjoyed a standout first career start against the Steelers, as he was part of an offensive line that did not allow a single sack of quarterback Joe Burrow.
Excited for the biggest NFL schedule in history? Follow along on the CBS Sports app and get the latest insights from our team of NFL insiders, plus news from our team of experts, as well as data insights on every player. If you already have the CBS Sports app, make sure to favorite the your favorite team so you don't miss a thing!
Higgins caught 10 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the Bengals' first two games. With Higgins out against the Steelers, Burrow leaned more on veteran Tyler Boyd and rookie Ja'Marr Chase. Chase caught four passes for 65 yards that included touchdown catches of 34 and 9 yards. Boyd caught four passes for 36 yards that included a 17-yard touchdown reception. Burrow also completed two passes to Chris Evans and a key 19-yard completion to Mike Thomas on the Bengals' final scoring drive of the first half.
A four-year veteran, Bates has quickly earned a reputation as one of the NFL's top safeties. He played in 100% of the Bengals' defensive snaps over the last two games while helping limit the Steelers to just one touchdown drive last Sunday. Brandon Wilson would be in line to start at safety in the event Bates is not available against the Jaguars. Wilson has been primarily used on special teams during his four seasons in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is a 7.5-point favorite against the Jaguars, according to Caesars Sportsbook. The Bengals will be debuting their new orange jerseys against the Jaguars. They will also be enshrining their first Ring of Honor class that consists of team founder Paul Brown, Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz, quarterback Ken Anderson and cornerback Ken Riley.