THE Cincinnati Bengals will move forward through the 2023 season without its franchise cornerstone. Head coach Zac Taylor told reporters Friday that Joe Burrow has a torn ligament in his wrist, which will require season-ending surgery.
Burrow was ruled out of the Bengals’ Week 11 game against the Crows after suffering an injury to his right wrist. The Cincy quarterback left for the locker room midway through the second quarter after suffering a throwing hand injury. It was initially listed as questionable for return before ultimately being downgraded and shelved for the rest of the night, resulting in a 34-20 victory for the Ravens. Afterward, Taylor called Burrow’s injury a a sprained wristbut less than 24 hours later, a more serious diagnosis was made.
“Obviously you have a lot of aspirations for what the season is going to look like,” Burrow told reporters during a media address Friday. “What’s the end of the season going to look like. We were in a good position. We’re in a good position. … Things were starting to take a turn. You start playing really well and then something like, ‘This happens.’ There’s nothing you can do about it. I just have to fix it. “
This wrist had been the topic of conversation before this match after a social media post caught Burrow wearing some sort of sling on that hand while exiting the team bus in Baltimore. However, Taylor noted Friday that the envelope was “completely unrelated” to this last injury. He specifically suffered the injury on Cincinnati’s fourth drive of the night following a tackle by Ravens passer Jadeveon Clowney, according to Taylor. Despite the injury earlier in practice, Burrow threw a touchdown pass to the running back. Joe Mixon to cap a 12-play, 82-yard touchdown drive and felt noticeable discomfort after making the throw.
“The play before, I landed a little bit on my wrist and the next play, the touchdown pass, I just felt a pop in the middle of the throw,” Burrow said. “I tried, but I couldn’t do it. Obviously I got the news today, so not great.”
He was then examined by the trainers in the blue medical tent. Coming out of the tent, Burrow attempted to throw a few passes down the sideline. On his second attempt, Prime Video cameras saw the ball slip out of Burrow’s hands, with the quarterback shaking his head in seemingly resignation that he couldn’t catch it.
That’s when Burrow ran to the locker room and Jake Browning relieved him at quarterback.
Coming out of the locker room at halftime of the third quarter, Burrow appeared in uniform but without a helmet. He was seen putting on an earpiece to apparently listen to the offensive calls. Taylor then told Prime Video’s Kaylee Hartung that the team likely wouldn’t see Burrow for the rest of the night, which was a precursor to the team’s official ban. They made it official in the third quarter.
The former No. 1 overall pick, who was dealing with a calf injury early in the season, has finally started to return to form in recent weeks. Since Week 5, Burrow had completed 74.1% of his passes, which was the best completion percentage in the NFL on this section. Burrow has been no stranger to injuries since entering the league in 2020. In addition to that illness and the calf injury that occurred over the summer, Burrow dealt with a torn ACL/MCL (November 2020), a dislocated finger (December 2021). and an MCL sprain (February 2022).
Burrow hasn’t missed a game since Week 18 of the 2021 season. However, when he was sidelined, it didn’t spell success for Cincinnati. Under Taylor, the Bengals are 34-24-1 with Burrow as the starter and just 4-19 without him (including the playoffs).
Before suffering the injury, Burrow completed 11 of 17 passes against the Ravens for 101 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Browning struggled to put together consistent scoring drives, completing eight of 14 passes for 68 yards and a time-loss touchdown on the final possession.
Thursday’s loss improved Cincinnati to 5-5 on the season and this latest injury to Burrow pushes their playoff hopes even further. Over the next two weeks, the Bengals will host the Steelers in Week 12, then head to Jacksonville to play a primetime game with the Jaguar during week 13.
According to Stephen Oh of SportsLine, the club’s chances of making the playoffs fell from 37.6% with Burrow to just 1.3% without him, which is a change of 36.3%. The team’s winning percentage dropped by 14.1% and their chances of winning the AFC or Super Bowl were reduced to 0.0%.