The National Football League investigation into whether or not the Cincinnati Bengals failed to disclose Joe Burrow’s hand injury before facing the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11 could lead to significant discipline for the Bengals’ franchise.
Before taking the field against Baltimore on “Thursday Night Football” to kick off Week 11, Burrow was spotted wearing what appeared to be a soft cast on his right hand while coming off the team plate. The image was provided by the Bengals’ X account, with the team later deleting it after his season-ending injury on Thursday night.
- Joe Burrow stats 2023: 91.0 QB rating, 2,309 passing yards, 15-6 TD-INT, 66.8% completion rate
Speaking to reporters after the game, Burrow was asked about the wrap on his hand. The Bengals’ Pro Bowl quarterback said it was a compression sleeve, which some NFL players wear on flights due to the altitude.
“This is a completely different thing. It’s not uncommon for guys to wear compression sleeves on planes. When you go to altitude, things can swell up
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow on the wrap on his right hand coming off team plane
However, the NFL determined on Friday that it would launch an investigation into Burrow’s injury and whether or not he had a pre-existing issue before taking the field on Thursday against the Ravens. Failing to disclose the injury on the NFL injury report would violate compliance rules.
According to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, league sources said the NFL is taking the matter seriously. However, the investigation will take time and there’s no timeline for when a determination will be made.
There is precedent for violations of not complying with NFL injury report guidelines. In 2019, the NFL fined the Pittsburgh Steelers $75,000 and Mike Tomlin $25,000 for not revealing an injury quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was playing through.
According to Russini, the Bengals would face a significant fine if the NFL determined the coaching staff withheld information about Borrow’s injury. The league inquiry will include the review of photos and video capturing practices.
If the NFL determines the Bengals weren’t compliant with league rules, Cincinnati may face a much heftier fine than Pittsburgh did. The NFL fined the Steelers before it had partnerships with sportsbooks and the integrity of betting on NFL games is critical to the league’s long-term revenue goals.
The NFL is also investigating the Atlanta Falcons for their handling of Bijan Robinson’s headaches and failing to list him on the injury report before facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7.