The Cincinnati Bengals were a few plays away from going to back-to-back Super Bowls, and wide receiver Tyler Boyd thinks his injury in the AFC championship game played a major role in the Bengals’ failure to reach the Super Bowl.
The Bengals lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 on a game-winning field goal by Harrison Butker at the end of the fourth quarter.
Tyler Boyd of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the AFC championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium Jan. 29, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Boyd, who was third on the team in receiving yards and touchdowns during the 2022 season, suffered a deep thigh bruise in the second quarter and was unable to play in the second half.
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The veteran wide receiver said Tuesday his presence would have pushed the Bengals over the top.
“Still to this day, I feel like if I would have played the whole game, I was the key factor,” Boyd said, according to ESPN. “We would’ve won the game.”
Boyd had two catches for 40 yards at the time of his injury and said he tried numbing cream and ibuprofen to get back on the field.
Tyler Boyd of the Cincinnati Bengals walks off the field after beating the Baltimore Ravens 27-16 at Paycor Stadium Jan. 8, 2023, in Cincinnati. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
“I just felt like we had enough depth for guys like (Trenton Irwin) and other guys to come in and play at a faster pace than what I felt like I could do,” Boyd said. “I wish I was able to do it, but things happen.”
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Boyd, the longest-tenured member of the Bengals, arrived at Cincinnati’s voluntary workouts Tuesday.
“I wanted to come around and bring camaraderie,” Boyd said, per the Bengals website. “I missed the guys. Even though I was away spending time with my family, quality time with my daughter, I just felt empty not being around my guys and being there for them.”
Cincinnati will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in Week 17 during the 2023 regular season.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) warms up before a game against the Baltimore Ravens Jan. 15, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. (Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Bengals signed former Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year contract in the offseason, a move Boyd says only adds to the rivalry between the two teams.
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“We have a nice little rivalry with the Chiefs and to see him come over, you know, it’s like, yeah, ‘We one-upped y’all,’” Boyd told reporters.
“But at the end of the day, he’s a great player no matter where he would have went. He’s probably one of the best at his position. Just adding him to what we got already, to allow Joe [Burrow] to have more time. It’s going to give us the will to put up those points. So, I’m just happy to have him.”
Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.