Some weeks have an abundance of storylines to choose from and focus on, while others are dwarfed by one big story. This is one of those weeks where there is only one story…the season-ending wrist injury of Joe Burrow.
Not all injuries are the same. Although all matter and all are lousy when they occur, some are truly devastating. Some are physically jarring and awful to see, like Joe Theismann or Alex Smith. Some make you hold your breath and say a prayer, like Damar Hamlin. And others, although not life-threatening or tough to see, have the most impact on a team.
Such was the case Thursday night for the Cincinnati Bengals and QB Joe Burrow. On an innocuous-looking play that resulted in a touchdown pass, Burrow threw the ball and immediately reached for his right wrist in obvious pain. He gingerly walked off the field holding it. On the sidelines, he could be seen attempting to grip the ball and make a pass, but to no avail. He immediately shook his head from side to side, indicating he couldn’t throw the ball.
The game’s result was sealed at that point, lowering the Bengals back to .500. Their shot at the division was all but gone, but with Friday’s news, their season is now over. Burrow is out for the rest of the season with torn ligaments in his right wrist, which will require surgery.
His career isn’t in jeopardy, and other than that he’s completely healthy by all accounts, he’ll be back ready for the 2024 season, but make no mistake about this, it is devastating to him, his team and Bengals fans.
From a fantasy perspective, everyone who owns him is in deep trouble, since many leagues’ trade deadlines have passed. And, anyone who has his three WRs is in trouble too since their production will all fall off a cliff the rest of the season. If you own Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd, hopefully you have a deep bench.
If there is any glimmer of hope from a fantasy perspective, it may be for owners of Joe Mixon. For the year, he’s currently tied for ninth in rushing yards with 605 and seventh in snaps among RBs. The team will need to rely more on his legs, which increases his snaps and touches. His production in the passing game should increase as well, with screens and check-down passes.
But overall, whether you are a Bengals fan or not, this is terrible. If you like competition, you were hoping for another Bengals/Chiefs (Burrow/Mahomes), battle in the playoffs. If you like competition, you were hoping to watch Burrow lead the Bengals to see if he could claw back into the division race. Anytime someone at the top of their game is taken away, it hurts the sport.