Update: Bengals QB Joe Burrow is trending in the right direction and looks primed to play tonight if there are no setbacks, according to multiple media reports.
As of now, the DraftKings spread for this game is Bengals -3. It would be closer to a pick ‘em or even the Rams being a slight favorite if Burrow were to be out tonight, so it seems all the signs are currently pointing toward Burrow giving it a go tonight.
Let’s just hope he can make it all the way through without a setback.
Joe Burrow is feeling better and barring a setback from now until kickoff, the #Bengals QB is going to try and go tonight for Monday Night Football against the Rams, sources tell @Enquirer @DMRussini first reported things were trending in the right direction— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) September 25, 2023
QB Joe Burrow is going through a workout this morning. I'm told there's optimism he will play and his status for tonight is trending in the right direction, per sources. Burrow is campaigning with the coaching staff and trainers to play, however his status is still uncertain.— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) September 25, 2023
They went on the road in Week 3 to face the New York Jets. Joe Burrow was getting stronger, and the Bengals won that game, avoiding an 0-3 start, and made it all the way to the AFC Championship game for the second year in a row.
This year, the Bengals are hosting the LA Rams on Monday Night Football, and once again they’ll look to avoid an 0-3 start. The difference, though, is Burrow’s health. There was a setback in Week 2 when he tweaked his injured calf, and, according to Ian Rapoport, the star quarterback is a game-time decision.
“The Cincinnati Bengals want to take a look at Burrow before the game. We’ll see if it ends up being a workout or just have him run around a little bit, but he has been feeling progressively better as we’ve gone through the week. If he plays, he’s likely going to play in pain over the next several weeks.”
From @NFLGameDay: The #Bengals may take the decision about QB Joe Burrow's status up near game-time, while the #Panthers will be without QB Bryce Young today, but he has a real chance to be back next week. pic.twitter.com/pUcYl4ghpE— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2023
Elsewhere, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer (via PFT) reported Sunday that Burrow actually took first-team reps with the offense during the team’s walkthrough and that the calf injury, while serious, has improved a lot over the last two days.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, acknowledging that it’s a “serious” calf injury for Burrow, reports that Burrow took reps on Saturday with the scout team, and that he took first-team reps in a Sunday walk-through.
Glazer says the Bengals will take it all the way to game time before making a decision, and that Burrow is feeling much better than he did two days ago.
Because Burrow isn’t at 100%, there has reportedly been some internal conflict on what the team should do heading into Week 3, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini.
Not what you want to hear.
He (Burrow) is clearly not 100 percent, and this decision will wait until just a few hours before the game, according to team sources. There are some in the building who want to see Burrow 100 percent fully recovered from his calf injury before he returns to action, but there are others who fear the team’s playoff hopes are on the line and want Burrow in the game.
One group clearly knows that playing Burrow before he’s completely healthy could lead to a further injury of the best player on the team. They’re not wrong, either. Look what happened in Week 2. Burrow was clearly not 100% and ended the game re-injuring himself. If he were to really get hurt, he could risk the rest of the season, at which point, the hopes for a Super Bowl in 2023 are dashed.
The other group also knows the Bengals are 0-2, and even though it’s early, this game is about as close to a must-win as you can get. There have only been six teams to start 0-3, out of 251, to make the playoffs in the Super Bowl era.
Whether Joe Burrow plays for the Bengals vs. Rams, it's a must-win game for Cincy— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) September 24, 2023
Out of 251 teams, only 6 have made the postseason in the Super Bowl era after starting 0-3
Under the current playoff format since 2020, teams that are 1-2 have a 30 % chance of making playoffs
That group sees not playing Burrow as basically ruining the team’s playoff hopes if the Bengals can’t win without him, and they clearly think they can’t. At a certain point, what good would a 100% healthy Burrow be if the Bengals can’t get into the playoffs anyway?
Both sides are equally right, and it will be interesting to see where the team lands on Monday night when the decision of whether or not Burrow suits up is made.
Do you think Joe Burrow should play if he’s not at 100 percent?
This poll is closed
Yes, the Bengals can’t lose this game
No, I’d rather Burrow get back to 100% health