An up-and-down season for the Cincinnati Bengals will all but certainly remain in the “down” position after superstar quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury in a 34-20 “Thursday Night Football” loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The loss presented the obvious headaches of knocking the team down to a mediocre 5-5 record, as well as the loss of its popular starting quarterback. But it now appears there may be one more issue to arise from that rough Thursday loss: The actual disclosure and reporting of Burrow’s injury status.
On Friday morning, just hours after the game, NFL officials told ESPN that the league was investigating whether Burrow was actually having problems with his wrist before Thursday’s game even started.
Normally, a player getting hurt in a game is what it is (no investigation required). But in this instance, there were some fishy circumstances surrounding Burrow’s injured wrist — chief among those a swiftly deleted social media video that was originally posted on Wednesday.
You can see a snippet of the since-deleted video below:
— ML VIDEOS (@MlVideos12199) November 16, 2023
As soon as he got off the team bus in Baltimore, it does appear Burrow had something on the wrist of his throwing hand, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer, despite not appearing on the team’s injury report leading up to the game.
Interestingly, on the day of the game, veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson posted a video that showed Burrow arriving at the game, but without that wrist brace:
Here is video of Joe Burrow arriving. No brace visible on right hand. pic.twitter.com/aUF8NdeNWp
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) November 16, 2023
The original video in question with the brace was posted, and then deleted, by the Bengals’ official X account.
As for the actual season-ending injury, Burrow appeared to suffer it on an absolutely routine throw during Thursday’s game.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor after the game said Burrow had fallen on the wrist earlier in the game, ESPN reported.
Joe Burrow was in some pain following that TD pass to Joe Mixon.
He didn’t get hit or anything, but was flexing his throwing hand. pic.twitter.com/nEinSjLU7I
— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) November 17, 2023
That apparent on-field discomfort and pain continued on the sidelines, where a visibly frustrated Burrow couldn’t even grip the football — a somewhat critical skill for an NFL quarterback:
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
According to ESPN, Taylor said that Burrow “absolutely” felt healthy going into the Thursday night tilt.
Taylor claimed not to have heard any rumblings about a damaged wrist prior to the game.
For Burrow, suffering a second season-ending injury within four NFL seasons is a brutal enough problem to deal with. And this season had already been an injury-plagued one before Thursday, with Burrow dealing with a calf injury that many presumed to be season-ending when it happened during a team practice back in July.
For the Bengals, if they are found in violation, the team will likely be fined.
The Bengals’ AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers and their head coach, Mike Tomlin, were fined a collective $100,000 in 2019 for failing to report an injury to then-Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, according to the Enquirer. That injury involved Roethlisberger’s elbow, according to an ESPN report from at the time.
While Burrow begins another long road to rehabilitation, the Bengals will prepare for a Sunday game against those same Steelers in Pittsburgh with backup quarterback Jake Browning.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.