The NFL will investigate why the Cincinnati Bengals failed to list Joe Burrow on their injury report this week after the quarterback was forced out of their loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a wrist issue.
Burrow departed for the locker room midway through the second quarter of Thursday’s game, which saw Cincinnati suffer a potentially costly 34-20 defeat to their AFC North rivals.
Burrow appeared to be in pain after throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon and was subsequently replaced by Jake Browning, who finished with 68 passing yards and one touchdown pass.
Cincinnati will now face an investigation into whether they hid an existing injury from the league, according to widespread reports which emerged on Friday.
Burrow’s condition was a topic of conversation in the build-up to the game, when he was pictured on social media wearing what appeared to be a soft cast or compression sleeve on his throwing arm while stepping off the team bus.
Speaking after the defeat, head coach Zac Taylor said Burrow had likely sprained his wrist when taking an earlier hit before feeling it on his touchdown pass.
Taylor denied any knowledge of Burrow carrying an injury into the game, saying: “That was the first I saw anything about it.”
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 17, 2023
According to reports, the league is set to open an investigation imminently, looking at photos and videos from practice, as well as speaking to people with knowledge of Burrow’s condition, to ascertain whether there was any wrongdoing.
The league takes failures to comply with its injury report policy, which requires teams to list all injuries, seriously. Violations are punishable by fines or the potential loss of draft picks.
Any sustained period of absence for Burrow would represent another blow to Cincinnati’s postseason hopes. They are 5-5 for the season and 0-3 against their divisional rivals after Thursday’s game and are on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoff picture.