The Cincinnati Bengals are gearing up for their AFC Championship Game matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, and they might be facing a shorthanded roster on Sunday.
While Patrick Mahomes was officially left off the Chiefs' final injury report and will play on Sunday, star tight end Travis Kelce popped up on the injury report on Friday with a back injury and is now listed as questionable.
Kelce did practice fully all week and it's unclear if his status for Sunday is truly in doubt, but any injury to a player of his caliber is notable — especially one that gives him a questionable designation.
Kelce has missed just three games since 2014, and it's likely he attempts to play through any injury. Expect Kelce to play, but he may not be 100 percent.
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Bengals might lose their QB coach
Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher officially interviewed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their vacant offensive coordinator position on Friday.
Pitcher has received widespread praise for his work developing Joe Burrow and is yet another Bengals assistant coach to receive interviews over the last few weeks.
A SUNY Cortland alum, Pitcher joined the Bengals' staff in 2016 as an offensive assistant before being promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019. After one year in that role, he was promoted to the team's quarterbacks coach in 2020 to replace Alex Van Pelt.
Lou Anarumo praise
Perhaps the most shocking development of this year's coaching cycle has been the lack of interest shown in Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. But while he may not be receiving national attention, Bengals fans and players know just how valuable he is.
Cornerback Eli Apple recently referred to Anarumo as the "mad scientist" of the Bengals' defense as players pondered why Anarumo hadn't received any head coach interest from around the league.
Fellow cornerback Mike Hilton told reporters, "We love playing for him and he loves coaching us." Anarumo has helped maximize the talent on this Bengals' defense, and the veteran coach has been an instrumental part of the team's success over the last two seasons.
Maybe it's best that he's kept a secret. The Bengals certainly won't complain.