Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has confirmed that Joe Burrow will miss the remainder of the season following a recent hand injury. To take his place, the Bengals will turn to backup quarterback from Folsom, Jake Browning.
“He had an acute injury (Thursday),” Taylor said. “He tore a ligament in his wrist that will likely require surgery and require him to be out for the rest of the season. We’re still gathering more information on that, but that seems to be where it’s headed right now.”
Burrow tore his ligament following a successful four-yard touchdown pass to running back Joe Mixon on Thursday’s night game against the Baltimore Ravens. Even though he clinched the touchdown, Burrow displayed clear discomfort after the ball slipped from his right hand during his practice throws on the sideline.
The starting quarterback then left in the second quarter, and the league officially ruled him out after halftime. Browning filled in for him for the rest of the game, and he will continue to do so until Burrow is back in shape.
Burrow told the reporters how he felt about his injury on Friday.
“It’s tough. You work so hard for seasons and moments like these,” Burrow said. “So whenever you get hurt and ends it early, it’s tough to handle, but that’s part of the game. I’ve been here before, just gotta grind it out.”
The nature of Burrow’s injury has sparked some questions, as he was not included in the Bengals’ injury report for the week.
On the Prime Video broadcast, Burrow entered the stadium before Thursday’s game, sporting a brace on his right hand/wrist. The Bengals also shared a video on Wednesday night showing Burrow leaving the team bus with what appeared to be a soft cast on his right hand. They later deleted the post.
“It looks like he sprained his wrist,” Taylor said, who claimed he was unaware of the injury until Thursday night. “So, he fell on it early in the game and felt it on the touchdown pass.”
A league official informed that the bizarre situation had prompted an NFL investigation as to why the Bengals omitted Burrow from their weekly injury report. The investigation also stemmed from the wrist ailment that ultimately sidelined him in Thursday night’s loss to the Ravens.
The NFL is known to monitor compliance with its injury report policy strictly. As such, the league takes such violations seriously, with potential penalties ranging from team fines to losing a draft pick. Teams were reminded at the spring owner’s meetings that they were obligated to list all injuries.
Before his injury, Burrow achieved 11 completions on 17 attempts, accumulating 101 yards and securing a touchdown, all without any interceptions. Meanwhile, his backup, Browning, managed 8 completions on 14 attempts, amassed 68 yards, and contributed one touchdown so far.
Browning played for the University of Washington from 2015–2018 and had limited NFL experience. As an undrafted free agent, Browning joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2019 and spent two seasons with the team on the practice squad.
In August 2021, the Vikings waived Browning, leading to his swift signing with the Bengals practice squad. During training camp this season, Browning secured the Bengals’ backup position, surpassing Trevor Siemian.
His first regular-season appearance occurred in the closing minutes of the Bengals’ Week 1 loss to the Cleveland Browns, where Browning went 0-1 in passing attempts. Browning took the field in relief for Burrow in the Week 11 matchup against the Ravens, contributing to the Bengals’ 34-20 loss on “Thursday Night Football.”
Browning is set to make his first career NFL start in the Bengals’ upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, November 26.
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