CINCINNATI – The list of injuries has become too much to keep track of.
The final Thursday night in Baltimore came when Joe Burroughs threw a touchdown pass and the tendons in the wrist of the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting quarterback snapped.
It just popped up.
Surgery is required. The season is over.
Could not set this object.
Add 2023 to the growing list.
The Bengals’ Burrow was sidelined for the season with a wrist injury.
Almost three years ago today, November 22, 2020, Burrow tore his ACL in Washington. Since then, he’s been through that grueling rehab, recently admitting it took him nearly two years to fully feel back to his full pre-injury self. Then in 2021, he injured his groin, sprained his pinky, battled a knee injury in December and dislocated his other knee in the Super Bowl. Then he had an appendectomy in the 2022 training camp where he lost 20 kilograms. He battled an elbow issue in December.
As excited as he was for his first healthy start to training camp, he strained his calf on the second day of camp and didn’t return to full form until 73 days later in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals after several disappointing turnovers.
His season span includes five games and just 24 minutes, 11 seconds Thursday.
Now, he faces another surgery, recovery and a long layoff to prepare for a comeback.
People have accused Burrow of being a robot, genius, killer, and alien, among other monikers, but in the end, he’s still human. This grinding should be of great value. He must wear it both physically and mentally. That should be a set.
Barrow said “No” with his usual straight face and matter-of-fact approach. As he sat down in front of the microphone on Friday, hours after the season ended, he went into the next game without finishing on first-and-10. Remove and clean.
“I’m going to treat it like anything else,” he said. “You analyze the situation. You go through the process of getting it back and you go and do it. That’s all you can do.”
We got the boys to keep winning. pic.twitter.com/EAcU8tHaa4
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 17, 2023
The term “injury prone” has been thrown around, with the number of sacks taken and many of these injuries occurring in the pocket behind the offensive line, often due to not doing the job well enough. You will hear the name Andrew Luke. Because of the striking parallels, the spirit of the work hovers over Burrow. Pick the franchise-changing No. 1 overall pick from injury-to-injury. The opportunity was basically lost out of a huge contract.
However, around the offices at Peykor Stadium, there is no danger of this quickly piling up on the burro. Not with the quarterback. Not with the head coach. Not with someone who knows Burrow well.
“I think if he’s a normal person, you worry about him,” Zach Taylor said. He is not. He is connected in a different way. It is presented in a separate program. We are lucky to have him. That is why he has achieved everything he has achieved in his life. He’s just built a little differently to overcome obstacles and challenges and he plays with a chip on his shoulder, whatever you say about a guy like that. That’s why I got the confidence from here that he will respond in the right way at the right time. And again, that’s one element that Joe built.
The silver lining in Dark Day in Cincinnati is that a burro injury, after surgery, typically heals well and poses no long-term risk. He said that he will spend the next few days talking to all the experts, doing all the research and research on the matter and coming up with a complete recovery plan. He holds this as a defense to resolve thirdly.
He wants to “be present” for the group. He’s normally quiet and leads by example, but admits that can’t be his character when he’s outed as a supporter of Jake Browning.
“Try to boost morale any way I can,” he said. “That’s my job now.”
Taylor said Burrow apologized when he shared the news on Friday. The coach can only laugh at the concept of Burrow’s sudden injury, but still feels guilty for letting his team down.
“Love those guys,” Burrow said. “They are going to keep fighting. Get wins, make playoffs. Jake is going to play really well.”
Being a teammate and leader of the soccer team means the world to Buro. You’ll get that stripping from any torn wrist ligament or knee injury or groin or calf or burst appendix or whatever.
Growing up following his father as a player and football coach, he developed an appreciation for the draw and glamor of that world. A twisted pride in taking punishment, challenges, and painful obstacles without hesitation. “Why me?” In the process of not asking.
“It’s tough, but that’s the life we live,” he said. “This is football. You are going to get hurt. Things are about to happen. You have to overcome things. Everyone has conquered things in their careers. Everyone in that locker room has. Everyone in the league has. This is unlike anything anyone has ever experienced.”
While it’s easy to point out the odds, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan pointed out that players like Matthew Stafford were constantly fighting and playing in Detroit and Los Angeles. Or the Kirk relatives in Minnesota. Or Lamar Jackson from Thursday. No one is saved.
Now look around this league. Backup quarterbacks start everywhere. Every beginner is dealing with some kind of trauma. The nature of the game and the horrific violence in it will in some ways force all of these QBs to adopt this attitude or find a new job.
“The time and energy he puts into his body and making sure he’s at his best for this organization, you know, it kills you to see someone go through that much time,” Taylor said. “This is football. A quarterback can handle that kind of thing.
High mental strength is a prerequisite for the job, not a luxury.
In a world of unknowns, you can safely say the Bengals have that trait in the burro. So, yes, these injuries have piled up and one result of this season should prove to be better communication between the quarterbacks and the medical staff, but any concerns about the mental wear and tear on the franchise quarterback are not part of the equation.
“There’s no choice but to be that way,” Burrow said. “Otherwise, you won’t get through it and come back on the other side. So there is no other option. A lot of men in that room were hurt, hurt. A lot of guys in the league, it’s part of what we do. It is expected. It won’t be the last time something like this happens in my career. This is just one part.”
(Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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