It would appear the Cincinnati Bengals will wisely use Week 18 as a mini bye week.
On Wednesday, quarterback Joe Burrow announced he will sit out this week’s game vs. the Cleveland Browns. Burrow did make it clear that he’s healthy enough to play, despite leaving Sunday’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs with a minor knee injury.
Burrow re-iterates he would be healthy enough to play Sunday. Taylor told him Monday night or Tuesday that the decision was made to rest him. Brandon Allen will be starting. #Bengals— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) January 5, 2022
Joe Burrow said he will get his throws and reps in practice. Does credit practice to the team’s success.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) January 5, 2022
Even if Burrow is healthy, it’s too risky to play him this week with the current state of this offensive line going up against a Browns defensive line that could have Myles Garrett, Malik Jackson and Jadeveon Clowney.
On Tuesday, news broke that starting offensive linemen Quinton Spain and Trey Hopkins were going to the COVID-19 list, which means there’s a real chance they won’t play this week (Spain is already likely out due to injury). And right tackle Riley Reiff is already out for the season, while running back Joe Mixon also went on the COVID-19 list.
That means if Burrow plays Sunday, he could be doing so behind an offensive line that includes rookie center Trey Hill, rookie guard Jackson Carman, and journeyman tackle Isaiah Prince, all while playing with sore knee.
No, thank you.
Plus, it will be good to get a full game of reps in for Brandon Allen in the event the Bengals do need him to take meaningful snaps at any point during what hopes to be a deep playoff run, not to mention put more tape of himself out there so he can sign a more lucrative backup QB deal down the road.