The Cincinnati Bengals host the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football. It’s a Super Bowl rematch, and the Bengals will certainly have revenge on their minds, but will their superstar quarterback Joe Burrow be on the field?
Burrow suffered a calf injury over the offseason that he recovered from in time for Week 1, but he has not been himself through his team’s 0-2 start to the year. Now, his status is very much in doubt for Monday Night Football, and the Bengals could be without him for the foreseeable future.
Is Joe Burrow Playing Today Vs. the Rams?
According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Burrow could go on injured reserve before this week’s game against the Rams. If he does, he would be out for at least the team’s next four games, setting him up for a return against the San Francisco 49ers on October 29th.
A somewhat conflicting report from NFL insider Jordan Schultz suggests that Burrow will go through a workout on Monday morning to determine his status for the game. We might not know about Burrow’s status until just before kickoff, so keep your eyes peeled for any news.
The plan remains to take it all the way up to game-time before making a final decision.
Burrow is pushing to play after… pic.twitter.com/QPDaHnduNe
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) September 25, 2023
Even if Joe Burrow ends up playing, the bigger question will become how effective he’ll be. Burrow has averaged just 4.2 yards per attempt this season, the lowest rate in the league heading into Week 3. He has completed just 56.9% of his passes and has looked visibly uncomfortable.
Star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been vocal that Burrow should sit out until he’s 100% healthy as it’s a long season and the Bengals have Super Bowl aspirations. However, Burrow is a relentless competitor so it’s not surprising that it’s been difficult for him to acquiesce.
Who is the Bengals’ Backup Quarterback?
The current backup on the Bengals’ roster is Jake Browning, an undrafted free agent in 2019 who spent three years on the Vikings’ practice squad before signing with the Bengals in 2021. Browning attempted his first career pass against the Browns in Week 1, and it was an incompletion.
Browning was the second true freshman to ever start at the University of Washington, and he’s the school’s all-time leading passer. His best season came in 2016 as he threw 43 touchdowns to nine interceptions, leading Washington to a 12-1 regular season record and a trip to the College Football Playoff.
Backing up Browning would be A.J. McCarron, who signed with the Bengals on Saturday. McCarron was taken by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, but he only made three career starts for the team. He appeared in 11 games total, though, throwing for 1,173 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
McCarron hasn’t been in the NFL since 2020, but he led the XFL with 24 passing touchdowns in nine games with the St. Louis Battlehawks. He also ranked second with 2,150 passing yards. Browning has been with the Bengals and knows the playbook, however, so he’ll be the first call.
Jake Browning from Washington was spectacular tonight for the Bengals as they faced the Rams in a Super Bowl Rematch.
Browning completed 19/24 passes for 173 yards and a TD
— WestCoastCFB (@WestCoastCFB) August 28, 2022