With the AFC North already clinched, the Bengals are resting several starters for Sunday’s game against the Browns — including quarterback Joe Burrow.
But rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase is active and started the game in part because he was so close to setting the team’s single-season record for receiving yards.
Consider the mission accomplished.
On the first play of Cincinnati’s second drive, quarterback Brandon Allen tossed a short pass to Chase on the right side, and Chase darted up the field for a 24-yard gain. That gave Chase 26 yards on the day and 1,455 on the season for the franchise record.
Chad Johnson was the previous record-holder with 1,440 yards in 2007.
Though Chase is approaching the all-time rookie record of 1,473 yards, he was on the bench with a coat over his shoulders at the end of that drive. It appears his day is done.
Neither the Browns nor the Bengals are playing their starting quarterback, as Baker Mayfield is also sidelined for the season finale.
The two teams are scoreless midway through the first quarter.