Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins suffered a shoulder injury at the start of the 2021 season but postponed surgery until March, helping the Bengals reach the Super Bowl before falling to the Los Rams Angeles.
Seen in a sling during a Cincinnati Reds game on Tuesday, Higgins told the team’s official website Geoff Hobson that he plans to be ready for the start of training camp, but his goal is to return to the match next February.
“That’s the plan,” Higgins said of being healthy for camp. “A hell of a game (of the Super Bowl), but it wasn’t the result that me and my teammates were expecting. It’s going to motivate us all, but we know what it takes to get back to the Super Bowl. That’s what we look forward to doing next season.”
Higgins suffered a shoulder injury in Week 2, missing the next two games. The injury provides an impressive backdrop to the receiver’s first career 1,000-yard season. Despite missing both games, the 23-year-old scored 1,091 yards and 6 touchdowns on 74 catches.
Had the Bengals held on to their Super Bowl fourth quarter lead, Higgins could have been named contest MVP with his 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Alas, the late collapse of Matthew Stafford and the Rams snuffed out that possibility, allowing fellow receiver Cooper Kupp to bring the material home. The missed opportunity motivates Higgins.
“I told my mom about it,” Higgins said. “Just knowing that if we would have won, I would have had the chance to win it. It’s crazy to think about it. Now that I think about it, I wish we had won it.
“(Because) it’s one of those accomplishments that puts you at the top level of your profession, your sport that you’ve played your whole life. The most valuable player in that position against all those other professionals who have perfected their game in this sport. It’s crazy to think about.”
While Ja’Marr Chase’s record-breaking rookie campaign eclipsed Higgins’ game, the Clemson product has emerged as a dangerous threat in its own right. With the line widening to be healthy for camp, an increase in Year 3 production isn’t out of the question in an explosive Bengals offense.