Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase takes a leap back in time with his big NFL debut in defeating the Minnesota Vikings
CINCINNATI – Bengal’s quarterback Joe Burrow’s first words after the team’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings were aimed directly at the discourse surrounding rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
“I thought he was going to drop everything,” Burrow quipped sarcastically shortly after walking past Chase before speaking to the media for his post-game press conference on Sunday.
Chase, who fought Drops last season, had a team high five-five for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ 27-24 overtime win at Paul Brown Stadium.
The fifth overall selection in this year’s NFL draft said he was aware of all the gossip about his fishing ailments and dismissed everything as “trash talk”. After the game, Chase said he was confident that he would perform when it counts.
“I know I wanted to do it,” said Chase. “It was only a matter of time. Just play my game and focus on what I came here for and I did.”
Chase had zero drops on his NFL debut, which was most productive at a Bengals rookie season opener. He broke the Bengals’ franchise record for getting yards in a debut previously set by Jordan Shipley (82 yards in 2010). The former LSU product had its greatest accomplishment of the game walking down the right sideline and taking a 50 yard catch for a touchdown with 35 seconds to go in the first half, after which he did his signature “griddy” dance in the End zone.
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“I thought he delivered,” said Bengal running back Joe Mixon. “That’s why we chose him.”
Questions about Chase’s catching ability were one of the dominant storylines during his rookie training camp. Last week, Chase commented on the difference between college and NFL balls, which also made some headlines.
It wasn’t all media babble, however.
Burrow said he was approached by some this week who said they were hoping Chase would play well on Sunday. Burrow simply shook off concerns for his former LSU teammate and told them not to worry.
“It’s Sunday, it’s game day,” said Burrow, recalling the conversation. “He’ll be ready to play.”