Bengals HC Zac Taylor Denies Any Knowledge Of Pre-Existing Wrist Injury For Joe Burrow Or Of Wrist Brace
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow exited Thursday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a wrist injury, raising two significant questions. One is, of course, when will he be back? The other is, did he also enter the game with a wrist injury? Because that could be a different sort of problem for the team, albeit one not nearly as significant.
The fourth-year quarterback was seen traveling with the team earlier in the day in a video that the Bengals posted on their own social media platforms. Though in the far background, it is clear that he is wearing some sort of brace around his right wrist.
Yet he never showed up on the injury report during the week, so if he was dealing with an injury that the team did not disclose, that will be an issue that would result in some discipline—namely, a fine, though the league has considered strengthening its disciplinary resources due to non-disclosure of injuries. Even earlier this year, the NFL reached out to the Atlanta Falcons to inquire as to why rookie RB Bijan Robinson was not noted as dealing with an illness that limited his participation in the following game.
Yet all of this is one big mystery wrapped in a riddle for Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, who denied having had any knowledge of a pre-existing injury with Burrow or of the brace that he was seen wearing on his throwing hand.
Attention was drawn to this even before the game started, so this isn’t all a manufactured drama after the fact. It’s why the Bengals deleted the video from their social media platforms in the first place, which only makes it all the more suspicious. They couldn’t have reasonably believed deleting the Tweet would have made the video disappear from the internet.
Did he hurt it at all before last night? “Not that I’m aware of”, Taylor said. Asked about the video of Burrow appearing to be donning a wrist brace earlier in the day doing the rounds on the internet, he said, “That was the first time I saw anything about it”.
So what are the options? Perhaps it wasn’t actually a wrist brace at all. It certainly looks like one, however. And the team did delete the video. And it just so happens that he injured the same wrist during the game, a striking coincidence.
It’s possible, of course, that he injured himself at some point during the day, or the night before, in a way that didn’t involve the team. But it’s hard to believe that he could travel with his teammates and coaches and nobody is aware of their franchise quarterback donning a wrist brace.
But does it matter? Okay, not really, if we’re being honest. At least not as a functional reality for the Bengals. At worst, they’ll be fined a six-figure amount and that will be it. Given the league’s years-long interest in strengthening their disciplinary arsenal against teams failing to disclose injuries, however, perhaps this could be a spark.
With the huge implications it could have on betting, it would be in their own best interests to do whatever is in their power to ensure that teams provide accurate information about the potential availability of their players to avoid lawsuits.
Meanwhile, they’re now 5-5 with some tough games coming up and may not have their franchise quarterback.