After injuring his wrist during Thursday's losing effort against the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has been ruled out for the season.
Backup Bengals QB Jake Browning took over late in the second quarter and played the rest of the game as the Ravens pulled away to win 34-20.
Burrow recently started nearing his best after inconsistent play to begin the season which stemmed from a calf injury suffered in training camp.
The Bengals fell to 5-5 with this latest loss. Burrow completed 11/17 passes for 101 yards and a score against the Ravens.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game that Burrow had fallen on his wrist twice during the Ravens game, which caused the injury. The NFL is investigating whether or not the Bengals knew about an injury to Burrow before the game because video showed Burrow wearing what appeared to be a brace on his throwing hand while walking into the stadium.
In 10 games this season, Burrow has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,309 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions. His completion percentage is his lowest since his rookie year in which he also played 10 games.
The Bengals' season peaked when the team beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-17 in Week 8. During that game, Burrow completed 28/32 passes for 283 yards, three touchdowns, and no turnovers.
That performance was a far cry from his performances earlier in the season. Those include Cincy's 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 4 where Burrow completed 20/30 passes for 165 yards, no scores, and a fumble, and the Bengals' 24-3 Week 1 loss to the Cleveland Browns where Burrow completed 14/31 passes for 82 yards and no scores.
Browning, the man stepping in for Burrow, was on the fringes of the NFL since he went undrafted out of Washington in 2019. This past preseason, he beat Trevor Siemian for the backup spot to make an NFL team's 53-man roster for the first time in his career.
Browning completed 8/14 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown on Thursday, but the score happened with less than two minutes left in the game and the Ravens ran that time off with ease. He has thrown one other pass in his NFL career, an incompletion thrown during the Bengals' Week 1 loss to the Browns.
The Bengals punted four times with Browning under center against the Ravens, whose defense has allowed the seventh-fewest points in the league so far (177) despite having played the most games of any team at the time of writing.
Browning will face three top-10 defenses by points allowed in the remaining seven games of the season: The Pittsburgh Steelers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Browns. It's unlikely that Browning will receive much help from his defense as it has allowed the eighth-most points in the league so far with 226.
Still, games against the Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings, both of whom have allowed some of the most points in the league, gives Browning an opportunity to show what he can do.