Bengals WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) plans to be ready for training camp

Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins suffered a shoulder injury early in the 2021 season but put off surgery until March, helping the Bengals reach the Super Bowl before falling to the Los Angeles Rams.

Seen in a sling at a Cincinnati Reds baseball game Tuesday, Higgins told Geoff Hobson of the team's official website that he plans to be ready for the start of training camp, but his focus is on getting back to the game next February.

"That's the plan," Higgins said of being healthy for camp. "Hell of a (Super Bowl) game, but it wasn't the outcome me and my teammates expected. It's going to motivate all of us, but we know what it takes to get back to the Super Bowl. That's what we look forward to doing next season."

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported this week that Higgins had a procedure to repair his labrum.

Higgins suffered the shoulder injury in Week 2, missing the next two games. The injury provides impressive context to the receiver's first career 1,000-yard season. Despite missing the two contests, the 23-year-old netted 1,091 yards and 6 TDs on 74 catches.

Had the Bengals hung onto their fourth-quarter Super Bowl lead, Higgins might have been named MVP of the contest with his 100 yards and two TDs.

Alas, the late collapse to Matthew Stafford and the Rams wiped out that possibility, allowing fellow receiver Cooper Kupp to take home the hardware. The missed chance motivates Higgins.

"I talked to my mom about it," Higgins said. "Just knowing if we would have won I would have had a possibility to win it. It's crazy to think about. Now that I'm thinking about it again, I wish we would have won it.

"(Because) it's one of those accomplishments that put you in the highest level of your profession, your sport that you've been playing your entire life. Most Valuable Player in that position verse all these other professionals that have perfected their game in this sport. It's crazy to think about."

While Ja'Marr Chase's record-setting rookie campaign overshadowed Higgins' play, the Clemson product has developed into a dangerous threat in his own right. With the wideout in line to be healthy for camp, a Year 3 bump in production isn't out of the question in an explosive Bengals offense.

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