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What's Next for Bengals After Joe Burrow Calf Injury

Joe Burrow Calf Injury

On the first day of Cincinnati Bengals’ training camp, star quarterback Joe Burrow took a snap, pump faked and rolled out to his right before pulling up with a non-contact injury that forced him to limp off the field.

While non-contact injuries are often serious, Bengals coach Zac Taylor told members of the media on Friday that Burrow is dealing with a calf strain that will require him to miss “several weeks” of practice time, which is good news given the potential outcome.

"Burrow’s calf injury can be significant and take a while before full recovery. We had players that had strained calves, and we had to shut them down until fully healed," said The 33rd Team's Rick Spielman. "They have Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning on the roster. If they need just a camp arm, I would stay clear of a veteran. You don’t want to risk that vet getting injured. I would bring a young quarterback in to take some reps off Trevor and Jake at this point in camp."

Siemian has a 15-20 record as a starter across eight seasons, and Browning has never thrown a pass in an NFL game.

On Saturday afternoon, NFL Media reported the Bengals were going to sign quarterback Reid Sinnett, who played for the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL. Sinnett also spent part of last season on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad.

With Burrow in the midst of contract extension negotiations and the regular season just more than a month away, there is a possibility the former first-overall pick will miss the beginning of the season.

Considering Cincinnati’s sky-high aspirations this season, missing their Pro Bowl quarterback for any time in the regular season would have a significant negative impact. 

The 33rd Team contributor Mike Tannenbaum believes the Bengals should consider improving their backup quarterback situation.

“You want to have as strong a backup as possible,” Tannenbaum said. “The Bengals are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, so even though it appears that Cincinnati got good news in the last 24 hours, I’d still look to upgrade the QB2 position.”

While Cincinnati’s staff looks heavily into its backup quarterback situation, it’ll also likely continue contract extension talks with Burrow. In The 33rd Team contributor Joe Banner’s opinion, Burrow’s injury shouldn’t impact him and the Bengals agreeing to a new deal.

“The calf injury shouldn’t change anything with Burrow’s future contract extension, and it won’t,” Banner said. If I were running the organization, I’d actually run out to get the deal done as soon as possible as a sign of good faith. And I’d expect Joe, who is from Ohio and loyal to the organization, to quickly come to an agreement with the club. 

Yes, the deal is close to done — and they are going to eventually do it anyway. But doing it now makes a great statement to your team leader for the next decade.”

With young quarterbacks Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert all inking big-money extensions this offseason that will pay them $51 million or more annually, do not expect Burrow to command anything less, even if his calf injury persists through the beginning of the regular season.