The NFL has reportedly launched an investigation into why the Cincinnati Bengals didn't list quarterback Joe Burrow on their injury report at any point throughout the week leading up to their TNF loss at the Baltimore Ravens, a league official to ESPN on Friday morning.
Despite clearly having a wrist ailment that ultimately led to his removal from Thursday night's game against the Ravens and which later turned out to be a season-ending injury.
Despite Burrow not being listed on the injury report, an Amazon broadcast before the game showed a brief clip of him with what appeared to be a wrist brace.
The Bengals themselves also shared a video on Wednesday night, which they later deleted (h/t ML VIDEOS for uploading footage before it's too late), featuring Burrow wearing what seemed to be a soft cast on his right hand as he got off the team bus.
League sources indicate that the NFL plans to examine photos, practice videos, and interview individuals within the organization to determine if any wrongdoing occurred.
The decision to investigate was prompted by the video and subsequent deletion of the social media post featuring Burrow's wrist brace on the team bus. It's funny because simply by their own actions the Bengals made clear that they were doing something wrong and they fully knew about it from the get-go.
While Burrow did not show limitations during practices last week and threw daily, that's not an excuse not to list him on the IR mostly because this was a short week with a TNF game and no real practices (just one, if anything) scheduled.
In weeks with a Thursday game teams tend to just have walkthrough-type sessions, so expect the Bengals to say they didn't see anything wrong in those low-intensity scrimmages, as if that was enough...
Burrow was ruled out for the entire second half of Thursday's matchup, and after the game Bengals coach Zac Taylor stated that preliminary evaluations indicated a sprained right wrist.
The quarterback was observed in the locker room with a multilayered wrap after the game, and then he was ruled out for the remainder of the year on Friday with a season-ending injury.
Taylor said he was "unaware" of Burrow's wrist issue before the game, stating it was the first time he saw his quarterback nursing any type of wrist problems come game-time.
The NFL's inquiry could lead to penalties if it's determined that the Bengals knowingly withheld injury information, as that goes against the league rules. The potential consequences range from team, coaches, and player fines to the loss of draft picks in worst-case scenarios.
Just for context, a similar incident took place in 2019 when the NFL fined the Pittsburgh Steelers $75k and coach Mike Tomlin $25k for violating the injury report policy by inaccurately listing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the practice report.