Burrow's Calf Concerns: Bengals' Playoff Hopes on the Line?


Sep 20, 2023

The heat in the AFC North is rising, and all eyes are on Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. With the team sitting at a concerning 0-2, fans can’t help but notice Burrow with a gun on the sideline, nursing his calf.

What’s the latest on Burrow’s status? Is Cincinnati’s star quarterback at risk of missing this week’s crucial game?

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Reports suggest that the Bengals are heavily focused on rehabilitating Burrow’s calf, which is, alarmingly, the same one he injured in the preseason. That injury saw him benched for most of August, and his recent on-field performance indicates that he might not be at 100%.

Now, factor in that their Monday night game is on home turf. Cincinnati’s fans will be eager for updates on whether Burrow will be present to lead the charge. Lingering injuries can derail a season, and starting 0-3? History shows that teams with such a record struggle monumentally to make the playoffs.

And then there’s Jake Browning, the Bengals’ backup. While he’s been in and out of the roster recently, Browning has limited game-time experience. Depending on him in a crucial matchup might spell disaster for Cincinnati, especially since the team remains non-committal about Burrow’s status.

Analyzing the reasons behind Burrow’s struggles, it’s clear that the lack of practice time played a significant role. Burrow’s performance was subpar in their game against the Cleveland Browns, showing some improvement only in the second half. Their offense, once feared, looked disjointed. Adding to the team’s woes, their running game isn’t the powerhouse it used to be. With Joe Mixon in the later stages of his career, the Bengals struggle to find their rhythm on the ground and in the air.

And their defense? It’s not good enough to consistently stop opponents. When an offense falters, and the defense can’t step up, it’s a recipe for disappointment. That’s the current narrative for the Bengals.

To make matters even more challenging, the Los Angeles Rams are up next for Cincinnati. They’re no pushover, and facing them on Monday night will be a real test. If the Bengals are without Burrow, this matchup will be even more unpredictable.

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Thumbnail photo via Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

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