The Cincinnati Bengals won't easily find a replacement for a generational talent like Ja'Marr Chase, but the team's receiving corps has been stepping up lately.
One wideout in particular, Trenton Irwin, has arguably exceeded expectations, generating dazzling chemistry with Joe Burrow in the last two weeks.
Irwin had just one catch on four targets in Week 12's victory over the Tennessee Titans. In Week 11, though, Irwin caught three passes for 42 yards and recorded his first touchdown in his Bengals career.
Having served as a trusty depth piece for the past four years, Irwin still remains buried underneath the likes of Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd this season. Yet it's worth noting that the former Stanford product has played a career-high 60 percent of offensive snaps in 2022.
His number was called in recent weeks following Chase's injury, and Irwin and Burrow have formed quite the surprising quarterback-wide receiver duo.
Bengals wideout Trenton Irwin gets a sliver of the spotlight in 2022
Chase is on track to return in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, so barring any injuries, Irwin's offensive snaps will likely decrease for the rest of the season.
After the Bengals let go of Auden Tate this past offseason, Cincy's wide receiver depth has looked a bit thin. Chase's injury raised concerns about whether Joe Burrow could maintain his elite production mid-season, and Burrow has so far silenced all the critics.
Burrow threw to seven different receivers in Week 12 for 270 yards and played a clean game against a tough Titans defense. Irwin really impressed when Burrow put the ball in a spot where the Stanford product would be forced to go get and go get it he did!
His chemistry with Higgins and Chase is well-established, but seeing him connect with Irwin for the last two weeks is a nice development. Irwin has ingratiated himself well enough in the Bengals' passing offense to serve as a solid WR4, and that's exactly what Cincy needs him to be.
Let's see what a healthy Bengals' wide receiver unit is capable of when Cincy faces a familiar foe in Week 13.