NFL News & Analysis

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon week-to-week with low-grade ankle sprain

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is week-to-week with a low-grade ankle sprain, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday morning.

Mixon suffered the injury Thursday night in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ 24-21 Week 4 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Samaje Perine entered the game for Mixon.

Head coach Zac Taylor said after the game that he believed it was a minor ankle injury. The 3-1 Bengals play the 3-1 Green Bay Packers in Week 5.

Cincinnati also has rookie Chris Evans, a 2021 sixth-round pick, on its 53-man roster and Trayveon Williams on the practice squad.

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Samaje Perine is the only other running back on the roster who has taken a handoff this season. Perine figures to take the bulk of the work if Mixon doesn't play, but Mixon's injury will also open the door to an increased role for sixth-round rookie Chris Evans. Evans has played a few snaps in the last three games, all on obvious passing downs, but he could earn the chance to feature more.

Bengals running backs: 2021
Joe Mixon Samaje Perine Chris Evans
Attempts 83 9 0
Yards 353 28 0
Yards after contact 255 24 0
Missed tackles forced 15 1 0
PFF rushing grade 85.6 54.8 (-)
Targets 9 4 3
Catches 7 3 3
Yards 29 30 40
Yards per rec. 4.1 10.0 13.3
PFF receiving grade 56.7 55.8 70.3

Perine is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry on his nine attempts this season. However, 24 of his 28 rushing yards have come after contact, as the blocking has been far from outstanding. The fifth-year back hasn't carried the ball more than 100 times since his rookie year in 2017.

Mixon's workload has reduced each week of the season, and without him in the starting lineup, the Bengals will likely rely even more on Joe Burrow to run the show as he works his way back to 100% after last season's knee injury.


Mixon has handled 83 of the Bengals' 92 RB rushing attempts this season, a total that ranks second only to Tennessee TitansDerrick Henry through four weeks. Click here for PFF's fantasy projections ahead of Week 5. 

Perine will be a low-end RB2 with RB1 upside in the right matchups. Check PFF's fantasy football strength of schedule tool to identify the best matchups for Bengals running backs. 

Expect Chris Evans to handle the other half of passing work and push to expand. He's a stash play with Mixon out. Click here for PFF's fantasy football rankings ahead of Week 5.

 PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


The 2021 season has started better than expected for the 3-1 Bengals, but key injuries could create issues over the coming weeks. After a preseason spread at +6, bettors are backing the Bengals early this week, with this spread reopening at +3.5.

Cincinnati could be slightly overvalued at that price and might be a team to fade in the betting market with injury concerns starting to mount. Click here for PFF Greenline’s cover probabilities for side, total and moneyline.

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