Canadian running back Chase Brown notched his first career NFL touchdown on Sunday, taking a first-quarter screen pass 54 yards for a major in a 34-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The 23-year-old was clocked at 22.05 miles per hour as he raced down the right sideline — the second-fastest play by a ballcarrier in the NFL this season according to Next Gen Stats. A late inside move sent Colts’ safety Rodney Thomas sailing past, securing the game’s opening score.
— 3DownNation (@3DownNation) December 10, 2023
“We’ve learned he’s that fast,” head coach Zac Taylor said post-game. “We do the GPS in practice on kickoff return and things like that, so he’s had opportunities to show how fast he is.”
“He was the second in the league this year, you’re saying? Yeah, that’s pretty good. He’s a fast guy. He’s real fast.”
Brown finished the contest with eight carries for 25 yards. His three receptions for 80 yards made him the Bengals’ leading receiver on the afternoon.
It’s clear Brown has been increasingly earning trust from Taylor. Through the first 12 weeks of the season, No. 30 was active for just four games due to a hamstring injury, recording two carries for six yards and three receptions for seven yards. In Week 13, he broke out with nine carries for 61 yards before finding paydirt this week.
“He’s done a great job of just controlling what he can control when he’s come back off the injury,” Taylor said. “Great attention to detail as a rookie, with the things that we’re asking him to handle. He’s made plays when his number’s called, and that’s what you can do.”
“He’s had the right mindset, this whole rookie class really has had the right mindset since the moment they walked in the door. It’s a really impressive class. Obviously, we’re talking about Chase right now because he’s had a great two games here but just as a whole, I think that that group has done a great job of mentally being about the right stuff in their rookie seasons.”
The five-foot-nine, 209-pound ball carrier was selected in the fifth round, 163rd overall during the 2023 NFL Draft. He led his position group with a 40-inch vertical and 10-foot, seven-inch broad jump at the NFL Combine, clocking a fast 40-yard dash at 4.43 seconds with a 1.53-second ten-yard split. He also put up 25 reps on the bench press — leading all running backs.
The London, Ont. native produced a sensational 2022 NCAA season for the University of Illinois. He carried the ball 328 times for 1,643 yards (five yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns on the ground while adding 27 receptions for 240 yards and three more scores. Brown was a consensus second-team All-American, finishing fourth in the nation in rushing yards while being named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as the top running back in the country.
After transferring to Illinois from Western Michigan University as a sophomore, Brown finished his NCAA career with 3,558 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 676 carries (5.3 yards per carry) over 47 games. He attended the Senior Bowl all-star game.
Chase is the identical twin brother of defensive back Sydney Brown, who was selected in the third round during the 2023 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The pair battled homelessness and hardship on their way to a pro football career, moving to Florida in high school in the hopes of landing an NCAA Division I scholarship.
Brown and the Bengals (7-6) will continue their hunt for a playoff spot when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, December 16 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Cincinnati are to reach the postseason as an AFC Wildcard.