Column: Bengals Deserve Harsh Penalties if Team Hid Joe Burrow’s Injury From Public
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
The integrity of the injury report is finally coming to the forefront as a serious issue in the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals are under investigation by the league after Joe Burrow left Thursday's game with an apparent hand injury. Burrow has now been ruled out for the season following Cincinnati's 34-20 loss to the Ravens on Thursday Night Football.
Typically, there is nothing wrong with a player leaving the game with an injury. The kicker in this situation, however, is evidence suggesting the star quarterback was already dealing with the injury ahead of Thursday's game. A deleted social media post showed what could have been a brace or sleeve on his right wrist prior to the game.
It is NFL policy that teams must provide information on all injured players even if they know they are going to play in the game. Teams are required to provide accurate information and are subject to discipline by the commissioner if they violate the policy.
The policy is in place to provide transparency across the board. This is particularly important in the legalized sports wagering world that we now live in. The more transparency, the more equal playing field it becomes for bettors.
Lots of talk about a deleted #Bengals post, which showed Joe Burrow wearing some type of brace or sleeve on his right wrist.
🎥 Here’s video of Burrow getting off the team bus in Baltimore.
— Caleb Noe (@CalebNoeTV) November 16, 2023
The NFL is set to review the photos, watch the practices and speak to people in the organization to find out how injured Burrow was entering the game Thursday.
I would like to see the Bengals receive a harsh penalty if the NFL finds out they failed to reveal Burrow's injury before the game.
Burrow is not only the quarterback, he is the best player on the team. There is no player more important to the spread than Joe Burrow. And it's not close. If sportsbooks were aware of a Burrow injury, the spread would have likely been at least three to four points different.
The potential risks for impropriety on the part of Bengals staffers who were perhaps aware of the injury and therefore had non-public knowledge that would give anyone betting on the game a leg up is also unacceptable.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, sent out an X before the game that he had $120,000 on the Bengals +4. He was subsequently upset when he found out about Burrow's injury. Over the last 24 hours, he has tweeted things such as "refund all bets" and mentioned a potential lawsuit.
I'm filing a class action lawsuit against the Bengals and NFL for lying about the injury report. There is no shot I put 100k hard earned dollars on the Bengals if I knew Joe Burrow was injured going into the game. This committee owes me an apology!
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) November 17, 2023
It's unclear how much is serious and how much is an act but it speaks to how upset people will be over their bets when they feel they have been cheated by the league's injury policy.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio also used X to vent his frustrations over the NFL's injury policy.
Meanwhile the NFL injury reporting system is a joke, as evidenced by Burrow’s wrist injury being hidden. The joke will be on the NFL when Congress calls a hearing or a prosecutor convenes a grand jury.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 17, 2023
The injury policy is in place for a reason. It is supposed to be even more strict about players at certain positions. There aren't many more important players in the entire league than Joe Burrow.
If the Bengals hid his injury from the public, they deserve harsh penalties.