In a recent announcement from Cincinnati, it’s with a heavy heart that we share the news about Joe Burrow’s season-ending setback. The star quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals is set to miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ligament in his right wrist. This unfortunate turn of events marks the end of a challenging campaign for Burrow in the first year of his massive $275 million contract.
The revelation about Burrow’s injury came to light on a Friday when both Burrow and his coach, Zac Taylor, disclosed that surgery was likely on the horizon. The 26-year-old quarterback, who had proven himself as one of the league’s top players, had led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in the 2021 season and the AFC title game in the subsequent year. However, with a 5-5 record and backup Jake Browning stepping in, the team faces an uphill battle in the AFC North, currently sitting at the bottom after clinching the division in the past two years.
Burrow’s unfortunate exit from the game against Baltimore, where he threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon, came after a painful hit from Jadeveon Clowney. Reflecting on the incident, Burrow revealed that he felt a pop in the middle of the throw and attempted to soldier on but ultimately couldn’t. The injury, which he believes occurred in a hit from Clowney during a preceding play, was not immediately apparent to him until he saw video footage.
Adding a layer to the narrative, the NFL is now investigating why Burrow was omitted from the team’s pregame injury report. A video posted and later deleted on social media purportedly showed Burrow wearing a soft cast before the game, but he clarified that it was just a compression sleeve, a piece of gear he had worn on flights before.
This isn’t the first time Burrow has faced a season-ending injury in Week 11; a similar fate befell him in 2020 when he tore two ligaments in his left knee during a game against Washington. However, Burrow’s resilience shone through as he led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988 the following year, earning him the title of Comeback Player of the Year.
In the face of this setback, Burrow maintains a stoic perspective, stating, “I’ve been through stuff like this before so it’s nothing new. Like I said, it’s football; stuff like this happens. Just got to learn to live with it.”
Coach Taylor echoes confidence in Burrow’s ability to bounce back, highlighting his unique mindset and determination. Burrow had signed a lucrative five-year, $275 million extension, including a record $55 million annual salary, before the season commenced.
The Bengals started the season on a shaky note, with Burrow grappling with a calf injury from the second day of training camp, causing him to miss the preseason. Despite starting 1-3 and a below-average passer rating of 69.1 during that span, the team rallied with a four-game winning streak, including notable victories against San Francisco and Buffalo.
However, the recent downturn, losing their last two games, puts the spotlight on Jake Browning, now seemingly the starter for the rest of the season. Browning, previously on the practice squad, stepped into the backup role this season and showed promise in his recent performance against the Ravens.
Coach Taylor emphasizes Browning’s preparation and the team’s confidence in him, stating, “Jake has shown through his actions. I think guys think highly of Jake and respect the work he puts in.”
In this challenging chapter for the Cincinnati Bengals, the team looks ahead with a blend of optimism and determination, anchored by the resilience of their players and the belief that, despite setbacks, they can still make an impact on the remainder of the season.