The Cincinnati Bengals had just gone up 10-7 with 5:49 left in the second quarter when disaster struck. Franchise quarterback Joe Burrow was wincing in pain after his touchdown pass to Joe Mixon. While on the sideline, Burrow was seen trying to throw passes and had issues grasping the ball. The training staff immediately took him to the locker room before halftime. Burrow would remain on the sideline for the rest of the game after being ruled out. The Bengals could never recover offensively after Burrow left, and backup Jake Browning was thrust into the first NFL action of his career. These factors were too daunting to overcome as the Baltimore Ravens defense ramped up the pressure on their way to a 34-20 victory at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati now finds themselves gasping for air in the AFC Playoff picture after the team announced Burrow will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his wrist.
Joe Burrow’s Injury Casts Doubt on Cincinnati Bengals Playoff Hopes
Burrow means everything to this Bengals franchise and the players in the locker room. He’s their heartbeat and the engine that makes the whole thing go. The season took a tumultuous turn when Burrow seemed to be injured after Jadeveon Clowney landed on his right wrist.
A glimpse of what Joe Burrow is dealing with on what the team now says is a right wrist injury: pic.twitter.com/nOW3qR0RhR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 17, 2023
Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton noted how important Burrow is after the game “It’s big. He’s a top-two quarterback in this league. It makes it harder, but no excuses. Next man up. Especially on the defense and we have to turn our notch up a little more and try to get our offense on short fields.”
The Bengals odds of winning the division effectively ended last night after falling to 0-3 in the AFC North and 1-5 in the Conference. They can still earn a Wild Card berth as the AFC is still somewhat wide open. The biggest roadblock is that putrid conference record that could loom large in losing tiebreakers at the end of the season. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor knows they have to start winning immediately and reiterated “One game at a time. It starts with Pittsburgh. We got a home game here, it’s a big one. “Our guys will be up for this game. That’s the only thing we can control at this point so I know our guys will be excited. We’ll put this one behind us and move on to Pittsburgh.”
Jake From the University of Washington
The Bengals will turn to the 27-year-old Browning who went to the University of Washington and spent two seasons from 2019-2021 on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad and the last two in the same manner in Cincinnati. He won the backup job by defeating Trevor Siemian in training camp. Browning played decently considering this was his first game action, and went 8-15 for 68 yards including a sweet touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase with 1:08 left in the game. The team may promote AJ McCarron from the practice squad since Burrow is out. The path to the playoffs for the Bengals in their last seven games will be steep, it’s going to take everything they have to climb it.
Main Photo: Sam Greene/The Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK