Given Joe B's injury, the season is done. Maybe we win another game or two, but playoffs are out of reach. I'm guessing 7 and 10, maybe 6 and 11.
Joe is simply too injury prone to be the long term answer at QB. When healthy, he's elite, but every year there's a new injury. He is tough & willing to play through pain, as he showed early in the season, but we all know how that turned out. Further, his contract is going to eventually burden the Bengals to the point where they can't afford to keep good players.
So here's a totally radical & unacceptable idea: Trade Joe for a passel of draft picks. There are teams that desperately need an elite QB & would be willing to give us multiple 1st & 2nd rounders. There are some promising QBs out there in the draft, including the kid from LSU (gotta keep that connection going). Given that we will have a pretty high pick ourselves, we should be able to wheel and deal. A really good QB on a cheap 5 year deal would be nice.
Yeah, I know it stinks to even think about, but at some point we need to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.