ESPN analyst rakes Bengals over coals for handling of Joe Burrow injury

ESPN host Mike Greenberg went off on the Cincinnati Bengals for what he sees as the franchise's extremely poor handling of Joe Burrow's calf injury.
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

To say that Joe Burrow's start to the 2023 NFL season has been a disappointment would be vastly understating the situation. Not only have the Cincinnati Bengals now begun the year at 0-2 -- a particularly ominous and poor start in relation to postseason hopes -- but the quarterback who signed a massive extension just prior to Week 1 has not performed well.

In the Week 1 drubbing at the hands of the Browns, Burrow completed just 14-of-31 passes for a measly 82 yards. He improved in Week 2, an eentual loss to the Ravens, but was still not totally himself, going 27-of-41 for just 222 yards, two touchdowns and with one interception.

And now it's only getting worse.

Against Baltimore, Burrow appeared to reinjure the calf that he reportedly strained in one of the first training camp practices for the Bengals. Now, it's in question if Burrow can suit up for Week 3, a Monday Night Football clash against the Rams.

Longtime ESPN host and personality Mike Greenberg, for one, is absolutely livid at the way the Bengals have handled Burrow and the results they're reaping now because of it.

ESPN's Mike Greenberg goes nuclear on Bengals for handling of Joe Burrow injury

During Tuesday's episode of #Greeny, Greenberg laid waste to the Bengals as he called rushing Burrow back for Week 1 with a notoriously sensitive and slow calf injury the "biggest mistake" a franchise has made in a long while.

"The Bengals may have made the biggest mistake that any team has made in years," Greenberg said.

Greenberg noted that the Bengals should've "erred on the side of caution" with the injury by all accounts from injury experts, and that it turned out to be worst-case scenario for forcing the issue for him to play too. Cincinnati not only lost both games to start 0-2, but Burrow has reaggravated the calf.

It's hard to disagree with that assessment, to be sure. At the same time, though, you can understand the Bengals' push for Burrow to play. The backup in Cincinnati is Jake Browning, not a player who inspires much confidence. So if Burrow felt like he could suit up, then it's hard not to take that option.

Hindsight is 20-20 and perhaps Greenberg is benefitting from that here. That doesn't make him any less wrong, however, given the way things have transpired for Joe Burrow and the Bengals thus far.

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