Just... how did we even get here?
The Cincinnati Bengals had one realistic goal this season; it was to not get Joe Burrow hurt.
They failed. It took nearly 10 games, but they failed. Miserably.
By starting the season 2-6-1, they already took themselves out of the playoff picture. Now, with Burrow questionable to even be ready for the start of next season, they’re in an even worse spot than they were this time last week.
Before this season began, the question of how many quarterbacks the Bengals will keep became a hot topic. The team decided to keep just one backup on the active roster, Ryan Finley, and one on the practice squad, Brandon Allen.
When Burrow gets placed on the Reserve/Injured list this week, Allen will inevitably get promoted to the active roster, but he may not be enough.
Finley will be the Bengals’ starter going forward this season, but if the Bengals want to be more competitive than what a high school team would be for the remainder of this season, they should probably look at other options to replace Burrow as the starter. Another quarterback is likely to get signed onto the practice squad at least, and why should he be automatically below a player like Finley by default?
Here are four options for them to consider:
One of the best free agent quarterbacks still available has been available for a long time now. A long, long, long time.
The Bengals probably won’t do it, but at least a dozen other teams should’ve by now. It wasn’t that long ago the Bengals were listed as a slight favorite to sign Kaepernick. They also reportedly evaluated him during a 2019 workout.
Never say never.
As far as the non-blacklisted quarterbacks go, Stanton might be the most notable with playing experience. The problem is that Stanton hasn’t taken a snap since the 2019 preseason. He hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2017. This is simply how bad the options are.
Gordon comes from this past draft class, like Burrow, except that he wasn’t draft. A free agent signee of the Seattle Seahawks this past Spring, Gordan was waived by his original team during final cuts and hasn’t found another team yet. Gordan put together a very good season for Washington State last season and should probably be on an NFL roster right now.
How about the return of a familiar face? Dolegala is currently on the New England Patriots’ practice squad, but the Bengals can sign him to their active roster, and they would have to keep him on there for at least three weeks. Dolegala was cut this offseason by the Bengals as they chose to keep just Brandon Allen on their practice squad.