Things could get even worse for Bengals after Joe Burrow injury update

The Cincinnati Bengals could get more bad news shortly after Joe Burrow's season-ending injury was announced.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals received a difficult blow on Friday when it was announced that Joe Burrow will miss the remainder of the 2023 season with a ligament injury in his wrist. Burrow exited the Bengals' Thursday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens after going to the ground with pain in his throwing wrist.

It's an unfortunate end to a difficult season for the 26-year-old, who gutted out a lingering calf injury early in the season to lead the Bengals back to the precipice of contention, only to lose back-to-back games, fall to last place in the AFC North, and suffer a severe wrist injury.

Burrow finishes his season with 2,309 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 10 starts, with a 66.8 percent completion rate and a .500 record. Cincinnati will turn the controls over to 27-year-old rookie Jake Browning, who completed 8-of-14 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown in Burrow's absence on Thursday night.

The bad news doesn't end there, however. The Bengals also face potential league-mandated punishment for their evasive handling of Burrow's injury status before the game.

Burrow was seen wearing a device on his wrist when he got off the team plane in Baltimore. The NFL is investigating why Burrow wasn't on the injury report — an investigation that only gets more serious after Burrow suffered a season-ending injury to that very same wrist.

The result could be a fine, as Josina Anderson reports, since draft pick penalties are typically reserved for "repeat offenders."

Bengals get more bad news following Joe Burrow injury diagnosis

It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Bengals, who now occupy last place in the AFC North with a record that's too good to tank (5-5), but not good enough to inspire confidence in a second-half surge without Burrow under center.

A potentially significant fine only adds insult to injury. The NFL is about to rub salt in the wound, assuming the Bengals don't have an adequate explanation for keeping Burrow's evident wrist problems completely under wraps.

Cincinnati's focus will turn sharply toward the 2024 season. The loss to Baltimore — not to mention a gut-wrenching loss to the Houston Texans the week before — exposed myriad issues beyond the unhealthy Burrow. The Bengals will hope Burrow can rehab and get back to full speed, with no injury aftereffects weighing him down, by the time next season begins.

There's every reason to believe Burrow and company can rejoin the Super Bowl hunt eventually. It just won't be this season.

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