Bengals' Tyler Boyd dislocates finger; injured Tee Higgins plays 1 snap

CINCINNATI -- Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins' only snap Sunday against the Cleveland Browns was an unplanned one, according to coach Zac Taylor.

Higgins, who was dealing with a right hamstring injury, snuck onto the field for his lone play in Cincinnati's 23-10 victory. He entered the field for a third-and-7 play on the first offensive drive for either team. Higgins did not play for the remainder of the game.

"He found his way out there the way that some guys do when they want to play when they're a competitor," Taylor said with a smile. "But ultimately, we didn't want him out there."

Higgins' cameo appearance came after Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd suffered a dislocated finger on his right hand. Higgins entered the game as one of four wide receivers with Cincinnati (9-4) looking to extend the drive.

Boyd was later ruled out in the second quarter. A source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that Boyd will likely be week-to-week and the injury is not believed to be a long-term concern.

In addition to the injuries to their wide receivers, the Bengals also saw pass-rusher Trey Hendrickson suffer a broken wrist on Sunday, a source told Fowler, confirming an NFL Network report. The source said Hendrickson should be back for the playoffs and might require a cast while the bone heals.

As for Higgins, the first sign of his injury came in the middle of the week, when he popped up on the team's injury report with a hamstring issue. He was a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. However, the team didn't give him an injury designation on Friday's game status report, indicating no potential issues for Sunday's game in Cincinnati.

About an hour before the 1 p.m. kickoff, Taylor said the team received information that the hamstring was still an issue for Higgins. At that point, Taylor said Higgins was viewed as questionable to play but no official injury designation was given.

"We didn't want him to open up and run," Taylor said. "That doesn't mean he couldn't run a goal-line fade on the 1-yard line. There was no sense in ruling him out. I didn't see any reason to do that.

"He obviously felt he could play. There were some plays we still had highlighted for him. I was hoping the game would go in our favor to where we would not need to use that."

Taylor's hopes came to fruition. After a slow start, the Bengals opened up a lead over the Browns (5-8) that eventually ballooned to a 20-3 advantage in the second half. Cleveland flirted with making the game competitive in the fourth quarter but was unable to make it a one-score contest.

With Higgins and Boyd out, Cincinnati relied on Ja'Marr Chase, Trent Taylor and Trenton Irwin as its primary receivers. Chase had 10 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. Irwin also caught a touchdown pass.

"It was a constant conversation for four quarters for how that affects the game plan," Taylor said of losing Boyd and Higgins.

The fourth-year coach did not have an immediate update on each player's long-term prognosis.

With the win, Cincinnati snapped a five-game losing skid to Cleveland that dates back to 2019 and kept the Bengals tied with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North standings.