Ja’Marr Chase pulled aside Trenton Irwin before WR’s breakout

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase pulled Trenton Irwin aside as he was set to miss some time with a hip injury and gave the man he calls “T.I.” his blessing and said it was his time to shine.

Irwin did just that, going off in his one opportunity and earning himself a full-time roster spot and game ball. Then, Irwin did it again last week against the Titans, making a clutch sideline catch on a third down that eventually helped decide the game.

Chase says he made a point to beeline for Irwin once he knew he would miss time with the hip injury.

“I knew he was the next man up. Why not hear it coming from me than a coach?” Chase said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I’m telling you personally that I’m not playing. This is your moment to step up and make plays for yourself. That’s exactly what he did. I never, not one second, downgraded nothing he did. I always wanted to pick him up, make sure we we’re always going in the right foot. ”

Chase also noted that it was simply impossible to miss Irwin in practices and understood how valuable he could be in the offense when finally given a chance.

“T.I. has been making some incredible plays, last-second hands, back shoulders him and Joe have been connecting crazy good right now,” Chase said. “I watched T.I. every day at practice, watch him in meetings taking notes like crazy. It’s good to see transition from practice to the game that easy. I’m proud of him like that.”

Case in point: That key third down diving sideline grab against the Titans, Irwin was in Chase’s X spot and made the play at a critical moment:

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Thanks to Irwin, the very problematic-looking topic of wideout depth has been solved — and Chase both saw it coming and encouraged it.

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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire