NFL will review the Bengals’ injury reporting on Joe Burrow’s wrist

The NFL will review the injury-reporting situation involving Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, the league said Friday.

Burrow, the NFL’s highest-paid player who led the Bengals to the past two AFC championship games, left the Bengals’ 34-20 loss Thursday night in Baltimore with an injury to his right wrist. Burrow’s right arm and wrist were heavily wrapped while he dressed in the Bengals’ locker room following the game, and he was expected to undergo further testing Friday. Coach Zac Taylor called the injury a sprained wrist after the game and said he did not know how long Burrow would be sidelined.

The Bengals did not list Burrow on the injury report this week leading into the game against the Ravens. He was seen in a video wearing what appeared to be some sort of brace on his right hand and wrist after the Bengals arrived Wednesday in Baltimore.

An NFL spokesman said Friday that the league “will review the matter with the club,” declining further comment.

Joe Burrow leaves Bengals’ loss to the Ravens with a right wrist injury

It was not immediately clear what penalties, if any, the Bengals would face if the league concludes that they failed to disclose a wrist injury for Burrow entering the game. The NFL’s injury-reporting rules require teams to list all players with “reportable injuries” on their injury reports, even if those players participate fully in practices and the team is certain they will play in the upcoming game. The rules emphasize that is particularly relevant for key players and players whose injuries have received media coverage. Those rules say that some injuries are automatically reportable if they affect a player’s availability, and others may be reportable if they have an effect upon a player’s performance.

Taylor said during his postgame news conference Thursday that it “looks like [Burrow] sprained his wrist.” Taylor said Burrow fell on his wrist early in the game and experienced discomfort following a second-quarter touchdown pass to tailback Joe Mixon. Asked whether Burrow had a wrist injury entering the game, Taylor said, “Not that I know of.”

Burrow appeared unable to grip the football while attempting to throw passes on the Bengals’ sideline after leaving the field.

“I saw that,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he previously had been unaware of the video showing the covering on Burrow’s right hand and wrist. He said he was satisfied with how Burrow played before he left the game.

“Watch how he played in the first half,” Taylor said. “He did everything we needed him to do.”

Backup Jake Browning replaced Burrow late in the first half and finished the game. The Bengals’ record dropped to 5-5 with the defeat. They’ve lost two straight games following a four-game winning streak that coincided with Burrow seemingly being fully healthy after being plagued early in the season by a calf injury suffered in training camp.

“We’re not going to let one game define us,” Taylor said late Thursday night. “This was certainly a big game for us [that] our guys were excited about, on the road. It didn’t go our way. And in a long season like this, what we’ve got to do is be able to regroup. … We’ve done this kind of situation before. And we’ve got to rally here.”

Wide receiver Tyler Boyd said in the Bengals’ postgame locker room: “It’s always the next man up in this league. Guys are here for a reason. I believe in each and every one of these guys.”

But Boyd also said of Burrow’s injury: “It hurt. … Joe gives us our best chance of winning football games.”

Burrow’s latest injury adds to the growing list of serious injuries prominent NFL quarterbacks have suffered this season. Aaron Rodgers tore the Achilles’ tendon in his left leg four snaps into his first game with the New York Jets in September. The Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins suffered a season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon. Indianapolis Colts rookie Anthony Richardson underwent shoulder surgery that probably ended his season. The New York Giants lost Daniel Jones to a torn ACL in his right knee. The Cleveland Browns said this week that Deshaun Watson will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

Burrow’s rookie season in 2020 was cut short by a torn ACL in his left knee. He took the Bengals to the Super Bowl in the 2021 season. They made it back to the AFC championship game last season but lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. They seemingly were rounding back into championship-contending form in recent weeks. But then came the calamitous five-day stretch that began with Sunday’s loss at home to the Houston Texans, followed by Thursday night’s defeat and Burrow’s early exit.

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“It’s part of the league, man,” Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase said in the postgame locker room. “I’m not used to losing. I’m not a loser. So I love winning. When I lose, I don’t like the feeling. You know what I’m saying? So as of right now we’ve just got to adjust and make changes, move forward.”

Taylor said he saw “some positive things” from Browning in his relief appearance. The Bengals have a mini-bye, following the Thursday game, before hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 26.

“I know we’re disappointed with the loss,” Taylor said. “But I’m not discouraged about where this team is headed after this game. … We’re going to take the long weekend here and regroup and get ready for Pittsburgh next week.”

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