Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd had an understandable reaction to the dislocated finger he suffered during Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns.
"I kind of went in shock," Boyd said Thursday, per Ben Baby of ESPN. "I never really had any major injuries, thank god, let alone being able to see a bone. So, it kind of threw me off."
The bone broke through his skin and forced him to miss most of the contest, but Baby noted he has practiced in a limited capacity this week with a game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the schedule.
Fellow wide receiver Tee Higgins, who missed all but one snap during the win over Cleveland, has been limited with a hamstring injury, so having Boyd available will be critical.
Otherwise, more of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Ja'Marr Chase, who is as well suited to thrive in such a situation as almost any wide receiver in the league. He posted 10 catches for 119 yards and one touchdown against the Browns and appears to be fully healthy after missing time earlier in the season.
Trenton Irwin also caught a touchdown against the Browns and could see more time if Boyd or Higgins is out.
Cincinnati is one of the hottest teams in the NFL with five wins in a row and a 9-4 record. It is tied with the Baltimore Ravens with a head-to-head showdown in Week 18 looming, and the team is in championship-or-bust mode after reaching the Super Bowl last season.
One reason the Bengals are so dangerous is their wide receiver group of Chase, Higgins and Boyd, and having them all on the field is their best chance to win the Lombardi Trophy.
It seems as if Boyd is trending toward playing against the Buccaneers even if he is battling through a shocking injury.