After missing Thursday’s game with a wrist injury, the Cincinnati Bengals received more bad news regarding quarterback Joe Burrow on Friday.
The team announced that Burrow will miss the rest of the 2023 season with a wrist injury, another major shock to the AFC and AFC North playoff race.
Burrow left the Bengals’ 34-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night late in the second quarter after he had trouble catching the ball and throwing it down the field. It turns out that the injury is a torn ligament in the wrist.
He was replaced by backup Jake Browning, who will now be the team’s starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
News of Burrow’s season-ending injury comes just days after the Cleveland Browns lost their starting quarterback, Deshaun Watson, for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. These two changes will create chaos in the extremely competitive AFC North race. As recently as a week ago, all four teams held the AFC playoff spots, but injuries to Watson and Burrow could have changed all that dramatically.
Even with a healthy Norr, the Bengals had an uphill battle ahead of them in the AFC due to their 5-5 record, but having to turn to Browning, who has never started a game in the NFL, could be the deciding knockout of their season.
All of this should make the Baltimore Ravens – now 8-3 after Thursday’s win – the clear favorites in the AFC North, while Pittsburgh – sitting at 6-3 with games against Cleveland and Cincinnati in the next two weeks – could also still find yourself in this race.
It also continues a brutal year for quarterback injuries. Aaron Rodgers (Jets), Kirk Cousins (Vikings), Anthony Richardson (Colts) and Daniel Jones (Giants) also suffered season-ending injuries.
With the Bengals and Browns having to rely on Browning and Doran Thompson-Robinson at quarterback for the remainder of the regular season, it could also help open the door for other AFC teams that are in the playoffs, including Houston (5-4), Buffalo (5-5), Indianapolis (5-5), Las Vegas (5-5), Los Angeles Chargers (4-5) and New York Jets (4-5).
The Bengals have the NFL toughest remaining schedule by opponents’ winning percentage and will have to deal with a quarterback who has never played in the NFL.