Bengals get Joe Mixon back, reveal how they will pair him with Samaje Perine

The Cincinnati Bengals have a good problem on their hands — star running back Joe Mixon is back, yet backup Samaje Perine has been on fire.

So how will the Bengals handle it?

Mixon is back from concussion protocol, as referenced by his full return to practice this week. And last time fans saw him in a full capacity, he was totaling a franchise-record five touchdowns in a win over the Panthers.

While he was out though, Perine came in and had some viral stiff-armed runs, totaling 150-plus rushing yards with a score over the last two starts, plus four or more catches through the air in three straight.

In fact, Perine has looked so good that fans have wondered if the team might change up the workload at the position.

Coaches say otherwise.

“Joe Mixon is our starting running back. In the last (full) game he played in, he had five touchdowns, tremendous effort,” head coach Zac Taylor said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “And Samaje has done a really good job filling in. And so, to have those two guys that you’ve got a lot of confidence in, whatever the moment calls for, we think that’s very valuable to have, especially going into this late season stretch, and hopefully beyond that.”

Offensie coordinator Brian Callahan was very complimentary of Perine, pointing out his ability as a blocker and on passing downs, so he’s not exactly shocked he looks so good in a full role: “But now that you see him getting more touches and more carries, he’s shown how capable of a player that he is. But we’re going to use all the guys we’ve got. We’re going to need all of them. There’s still a lot of football to be played. We’ve got five weeks left, plus hopefully a handful of games in January, February. It’s physical and we’re going to need both those guys to play well.”

All this translated? The Bengals love having a good problem like this. Both guys are really fresh now heading into December and if they split the workload properly, they can keep that freshness into a possible playoff run.

While it wouldn’t be a shock to see more of an even snap count committee approach, Mixon remains top dog.

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Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire