The Cincinnati Bengals are being investigated by the NFL for possibly concealing an injury to quarterback Joe Burrow, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Burrow left the Bengals’ game on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens after throwing a touchdown pass to Joe Mixon in the first half. The Bengals initially ruled Burrow as questionable to return and then later downgraded him to out for the remainder of the game with a right wrist sprain.
The controversy started when a video from WCPO-TV Cincinnati surfaced that showed Burrow wearing a brace on his right wrist while getting off the team bus in Baltimore on Wednesday.
There was also a photo posted by the Bengals that showed Burrow wearing the brace. That photo was later deleted.
The Bengals did not list Burrow on their injury report on the week leading up to the game, which could have been a violation of the NFL’s injury reporting rules.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game that he was not aware of any injury to Burrow before the contest.
“Not that I’m aware of …” Taylor said. “That was the first I saw anything about it.”
If Burrow missed any practice time in the week leading up to the game because of the injury, then the Bengals would clearly have been in violation of the NFL injury reporting rules by not adding Burrow.
If he did not miss any time in pratice because of the injury, then they may not have been required to report it. The NFL receives copies of practice tape from each team every week, in part to ensure compliance with injury reporting rules.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were fined $75,000 and head coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000 for not listing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the team’s injury report ahead of the team’s Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2019. Roethlisberger tried to play in that game before being shut down for the season to have elbow surgery.
More serious violations could potentially involve the loss of a draft pick.
Cincinnati lost the game with the Ravens, 34-20 and fell to 5-5, last place in the AFC North.