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Zac Taylor mum on whether Joe Mixon will play again this season

Bengals Wire logo Bengals Wire 11/21/2020 Chris Roling
a close up of a man throwing a baseball on a field: Mixon had an odd day at the office in Week 1, taking his 19 carries for just 69 yards (3.6 average) and catching one of his two targets for just two yards.  Some of the blame goes on the offensive line, which didn't exactly turn in a good performance. Some of it goes on Mixon, who was indecisive when he needed to just hit gaps. And some of it goes on the coaching staff, which didn't feature Mixon on the field much at all late in the game.  What Mixon can do as a runner and receiver doesn't need much of a review. If coaches are finding better ways to get him involved, it's making life easier on the rookie quarterback. © AP Mixon had an odd day at the office in Week 1, taking his 19 carries for just 69 yards (3.6 average) and catching one of his two targets for just two yards. Some of the blame goes on the offensive line, which didn't exactly turn in a good performance. Some of it goes on Mixon, who was indecisive when he needed to just hit gaps. And some of it goes on the coaching staff, which didn't feature Mixon on the field much at all late in the game. What Mixon can do as a runner and receiver doesn't need much of a review. If coaches are finding better ways to get him involved, it's making life easier on the rookie quarterback.
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It might be time to start asking some tough questions about Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mixon is again listed as out on the team’s final injury report, this time for the Week 11 matchup with the Washington Football Team. Bengals coach Zac Taylor had classified the star running back as “day to day” earlier in the week.

But this latest twist as Mixon battles a foot injury means he hasn’t suited up since Week 11, where he took 18 carries in a loss to Indianapolis.

Given the length of the running back’s absence, it’s worth wondering why the team didn’t put him on injured reserve. ESPN’s Ben Baby asked Zac Taylor about that recently:

In other words, it sounds like Taylor and Co. thought Mixon could be back sooner, yet remain in a precautionary stance.

Baby added the following from Taylor, who was asked if he’d handle this differently in hindsight: “I’ll be honest. I don’t care what people are asking. We just try to make the best decisions for the club and the player and that’s the decision we made.”

Otherwise, Taylor won’t commit to Mixon actually returning to the field this year:

Taylor’s staff being seemingly overly cautious with player injuries isn’t anything new at this point — think, A.J. Green in training camp or the apparent approach with Geno Atkins this year. The head coach also got burned last year with the endless Green saga.

But at this point, it’s fair to wonder if Mixon will even take the field again this season. The foot injury is a nagging one the team is clearly worried about and it’s not like the Bengals are playing for playoff positioning (though Taylor could be potentially coaching for his job). If it’s that worrisome, risking a freshly-extended ‘back on a big contract might not make the most sense from the team’s perspective.

While relentless injury sagas aren’t new under the Taylor regime, Mixon’s is captivating regardless as the Bengals close out the season — even if he doesn’t take the field again.

MORE:

Bengals announce assistant coaches will miss Week 11 due to COVID-19 protocols

Bengals won't have Joe Mixon vs. WFT, five others questionable

Former Bengals star Carlos Dunlap already putting on show with Seahawks

Is Zac Taylor coaching for his job as Bengals finish 2020 against easy schedule?

Bengals see Tee Higgins just getting 'better and better'

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