The nightmare for most Cincinnati Bengals fans is coming to reality on Sunday.
Joe Burrow, who had a season-ending wrist injury against Baltimore on Thursday Night Football, will not be the quarterback that starts the game for Cincinnati, and fans are bracing for a rough stretch with Jake Browning leading the charge.
Don’t tell him that, though, as the former Washington Huskies standout is excited for his opportunity to lead Cincinnati. Browning went 8/14 following Burrow’s injury in Week 11. He did have a touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase as well, ending with 68 yards on the day.
As for what the future holds, Cincinnati will welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to Paycor Stadium, and Browning could have a difficult first start, taking on one of the most havoc-creating defensive lines in the NFL.
Again, don’t tell Browning that, as he’s ready to make the best of what is expected to be several starts.
“Like all of this, it’s an unfortunate situation for our team to be in where one of our best players hurt, but it’s the reality of why you have a backup and why I prepare each week like I need to go in, so I’m excited for the opportunity,” Browning said Friday.
This is Browning first experience in the NFL, and he looked decent against the Ravens after being thrust into the game.
With more than a week to prepare for the Steelers and given the lousy Pittsburgh offense, there’s no reason the Bengals shouldn’t be able to escape with a home win, potentially pushing them back to above .500.
That said, he is excited, and fans should be hopeful that he can lead this team in Burrow’s absence.
In July, with Joe Burrow injured and uncertainty surrounding the Bengals backup QB job, Ja'Marr Chase spoke often about his confidence in Jake Browning.— Charlie Clifford (@char_cliff) November 20, 2023
This week, after 76 NFL regular games watching as a reserve, it's Browning's turn to start. pic.twitter.com/sUAsJrHfCN