Mixon is heading into the 2023 season with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. After a poor 2022 campaign, the team drafted his potential replacement in the fifth round by picking Chase Brown and he was given an ultimatum to either have his contract restructured and take a significant pay cut, or be released. He opted to go with the former, and now we'll have at least one more year of watching the former Sooner take the bulk of carriers.
As James Rapien over at All Bengals put it in his article breaking down the contract restructure, quote, "...he'll have to be efficient and more of a difference maker if he's going to earn the final year of his contract with the Bengals This is especially true for their season opener against Cleveland. While it appears that Burrow will, in fact, be playing Week 1, chances are he won't be 100% himself.
After all, he's coming off a calf injury which will likely make him less mobile for at least this game and probably the next, and he's been rehabbing from said calf injury for over a month, so he could start the year looking rusty, much like he did last year after missing a significant amount of training camp following an appendectomy (can Burrow please just have ONE normal offseason ?).
With that, I imagine a lot of the offensive load will be on the run game, namely Mixon, for at least this first game. To avoid a disappointing start to the 2023 season, Jodein is going to have to step up and return to 2021 form against Cleveland.