Chase Brown

Bengals’ Joe Burrow Placed On IR

NOVEMBER 25: The Bengals announced today that they have officially placed Burrow on injured reserve. In addition to placing their newest franchise quarterback on IR, the team filled his roster spot by activating fifth-round rookie running back Chase Brown off of IR. Brown made an appearance in five games before being placed on IR with a hamstring injury. He played extremely sparingly on offense, only tallying two carries and three receptions, but was a consistent presence on special teams.

The team also announced practice squad quarterback A.J. McCarron as Cincinnati’s only standard gameday elevation for tomorrow. With Burrow out, McCarron will be available to serve as Browning’s backup.

NOVEMBER 17: The carnage from Thursday night’s game will hit the Bengals as well. Following the news of Mark Andrews likely being done for the season, Zac Taylor announced Friday that Joe Burrow has suffered a torn thumb ligament.

Burrow will miss the rest of the season with the wrist injury, Taylor revealed Friday. This is a devastating blow for the Bengals, who have seen Burrow change their trajectory over the past four seasons. Burrow entered Thursday having not missed a game due to injury since his rookie-year ACL tear.

After playing through calf trouble early this season, Burrow had recovered. The Bengals’ fortunes reversed. The team won four straight, including victories over the 49ers and Bills, and had moved into a showdown with the Ravens. But Burrow arrived in Baltimore sporting a brace on his right wrist. The Bengals did not list their star quarterback on the Week 11 injury report, creating speculation the AFC North team was attempting to conceal a malady. As a result,’s Adam Schefter indicates the NFL is investigating the Bengals.

While putting two and two together points to Burrow having an issue coming into Thursday night’s matchup, Taylor adds (via’s Mike Garafolo) the injury the fourth-year standout sustained is “completely unrelated” to the wrap he wore earlier in the day. When speaking publicly on the matter, Burrow confirmed as much (via ESPN’s Ben Baby). While attention around the league will turn to the league’s probe into the Bengals, Cincinnati will be forced to make a late run at the postseason with a major question mark under center.

Jake Browning, who took over for Burrow to close out last night’s contest, will assume starting duties for the rest of the season. The former UDFA had attempted one regular season pass in the NFL prior to Week 11, but he did enough in training camp and the preseason to earn a low-cost No. 2 job. Risk was incurred on the Bengals’ part by entrusting a relative unknown to serve as Burrow’s fill-in option, but Browning will now be tasked with leading the team toward a wild-card spot.

The Bengals entered Thursday’s loss ranked last in the league in rushing yards per game, so transitioning to a ground-heavy attack led by Joe Mixon may not offer a viable strategy. The team’s defense has delivered consecutive poor performances as well, so that unit will be hard-pressed to handle, in all likelihood, a larger workload with respect to having a role in victories down the stretch. Cincinnati sits at 5-5 on the year with an 0-3 record against the AFC North. A strong showing in the coming weeks will be needed for the team to remain in the hunt for what would now be considered an underdog postseason run.

Prior to the start of the 2023 season, Burrow inked a five-year, $275MM extension. That deal made him the latest in a line of young passers to land market-altering deals, and ensured his long-term future in Cincinnati. The 26-year-old will remain the foundation of the Bengals’ franchise for years to come, but today’s news will add another season-ending injury to his NFL career.

Adam La Rose contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/23

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

  • Signed off Bears practice squad: DE Jalen Harris
  • Placed on IR: DL Efe Obada
  • Waived from IR: CB Troy Apke

The Packers will soon be getting some reinforcement on defense, as the team designated safety Darnell Savage Jr. for return from injured reserve today. The defensive back has missed the last four games while recovering from a calf injury. The former first-round pick started all six of his appearances to begin the season, collecting 34 tackles. The fifth-year starter will provide the Packers with a welcome boost when he inevitably returns to the field.

It seems like Green Bay is already preparing for Savage’s return, as the team moved on from another defensive back. Dallin Leavitt spent the past year-plus with the Packers, with the veteran joining the organization following a four-year stint with the Raiders to begin his career. Leavitt got into all 17 games for the Packers in 2022, with all of his snaps coming on special teams. The veteran has seen a handful of defensive snaps in 2023, collecting two tackles in 10 games.

Bengals Place RB Chase Brown On IR

The Bengals are down a backup running back. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cincinnati has placed Chase Brown on injured reserve.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Brown injured his hamstring during Thursday’s practice. The running back will now miss at least the next four games before being eligible for activation.

Following a standout 2022 campaign where Brown earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, the Illinois product was selected in the fifth round of this year’s draft. The rookie was expected to add a spark to the Bengals backfield, but he hasn’t seen much of a role through the first month-plus.

In five games this season, Brown has collected 13 yards from scrimmage on five carries. The rookie has also seen a role on special teams, collecting a pair of tackles. He’s appeared in more than 50-perent of Cincy’s special teams snaps.

With Samaje Perine now in Denver, the Bengals will have to roll with some inexperienced depth behind Joe Mixon. Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans will move forward as the top backups, with Demetric Felton being a candidate for a promotion to the active roster.

Bengals Eyeing RB Addition?

The uncertain status of Joe Mixon clouds the Bengals’ future at the running back position, but the top of the depth chart is not the only place where questions remain. Regardless of what happens with Mixon, a depth addition would not come as a surprise.

A pay cut has been floated as a potential solution for Mixon to remain in place as the focal point of Cincinnati’s backfield, but few developments on that front have emerged recently. Team and player are hoping to have the situation resolved soon, with the Bengals having a number of other priorities to deal with in the summer, including extensions for the likes of Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins and Logan Wilson.

The loss of Mixon in particular would create a hole at the RB spot, however, and require a late addition aimed at filling it. As things stand, the free agent departure of Samaje Perine has led to questions about which back would occupy his pass-catching role. The incumbent options – veteran Trayveon Williams, 2021 sixth-rounder Chris Evans and fifth-round rookie Chase Brown – offer little-to-no experience in that regard at the NFL level.

As a result, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic predicts that another running back will be added during the summer to provide a known commodity on third downs (subscription required). Williams and Evans have combined to make just 26 receptions in their careers, while the majority of Brown’s production at Illinois came on the ground rather than through the air. Giving Mixon (if retained) a three-down role for 2023 is unlikely, Dehner notes, meaning the Bengals could be players on the open market.

Deep into what has been an underwhelming offseason at the running back spot, several options are available as short-term options while the team evaluates its younger players at the position. Evans, for instance, is in danger of losing his roster spot if training camp does not produce an impressive performance, per Dehner. High-profile names like Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott are still unsigned, but other veterans such as Kareem Hunt and J.D. McKissic would be better-suited if a strictly pass-catching role is the one being targeted.

The Bengals currently have just under $15MM in cap space, but that figure will be subject to change in the coming weeks, especially if Mixon is released (a move which would yield over $10MM in cap savings). Plenty will depend on the Pro Bowler’s fate, of course, but the team will be one to watch on the summer RB market as they look to replace Perine’s notable backup production.

Bengals Finish Draft Class With Wave Of Signings

Trailing only the 49ers and Cowboys (who didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds to sign), the Bengals were the third team this year to announce the signing of their entire rookie class. All this despite only having signed one pick coming into today, announcing the second before noon earlier in the day. Having already agreed to rookie deals with first-round defensive end Myles Murphy and fifth-round running back Chase Brown, the team’s announcement today reveals the signing of six other draft picks.

Cincinnati double-dipped on outside playmakers on both sides of the ball in this year’s draft. They used their second-round pick to select Michigan cornerback DJ Turner and their seventh-round pick on Miami cornerback DJ Ivey. Turner provides some immediate starting ability on both the perimeter and at nickel. Ivey may not project as an immediate starter, but he has an ideal frame and can contribute if given enough opportunity. Also in the secondary, third-round safety Jordan Battle should be able to compete with Daxton Hill for a starting spot alongside Nick Scott in the defensive backfield.

They doubled-up on wide receivers, as well, selecting Purdue’s Charlie Jones in the fourth round and Princeton’s Andrei Iosivas in the sixth. The Bengals are pretty set in their starting wideouts with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, but Jones and Iosivas provide some strong backup options. Jones, a former walk-on at Iowa who led the country in receptions last year at Purdue, should have a strong path to a roster spot as a backup receiver and returner. He should be able to challenge Trent Taylor and Trayveon Williams for returning duties on both punts and kicks. Iosivas provides the Cincinnati offense with yet another tall, lengthy receiving option on the outside.

In the sixth round, the Bengals also went after Michigan punter Brad Robbins. The team relied on practice squad punter Drue Chrisman last year after moving on from long-time punter Kevin Huber. Robbins should provide some strong competition for Chrisman for the starting punter duties. Here is Cincinnati’s 2023 draft class:

Round 1, No. 28: Myles Murphy, DE (Clemson) (signed)
Round 2, No. 60: DJ Turner, CB (Michigan) (signed)
Round 3, No. 95 (from Chiefs): Jordan Battle, S (Alabama) (signed)
Round 4, No. 131: Charlie Jones, WR (Purdue) (signed)
Round 5, No. 163: Chase Brown, RB (Illinois) (signed)
Round 6, No. 206: Andrei Iosivas, WR (Princeton) (signed)
Round 6, No. 217 (from Chiefs): Brad Robbins, P (Michigan) (signed)
Round 7, No. 246: DJ Ivey, CB (Miami) (signed)

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/9/23

Teams are moving quickly on inking their Day 3 draftees to their four-year rookie deals, with this process involving a slot system that does not feature many complications for late-round players. Here are the latest such agreements to commence:

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • OL Colby Sorsdal (fifth round, William & Mary)

Jacksonville Jaguars

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks

An additional quintet of fifth-round picks is now under contract. Last year, the slot system pegged Round 5’s contracts between $4.1MM and $3.9MM over four years, with full guarantees ranging from $361K to $243K.

Brown finished his Fighting Illini tenure with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, including a 1,643-yard slate as a senior. He joins a Bengals team that did not outbid the Broncos for Samaje Perine and had been expected to ask Joe Mixon for a pay cut. Post-draft, Zac Taylor issued a vote of confidence for Mixon to be back. Abdullah combined to tally 19.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss during his final two seasons at Louisville.

Bengals HC Zac Taylor On RB Joe Mixon: “His Future Is Here With The Team”

For the past several months, there have been rumblings that Joe Mixon‘s time with the Bengals could soon be up. However, in his post-draft presser yesterday, head coach Zac Taylor indicated that the seventh-year running back would remain in Cincinnati in 2023.

“[Mixon’s] future is here with the team,” Taylor told reporters, including Ben Baby of “I like Joe Mixon.”

Those comments are certainly more definitive than those made by VP of player personnel Duke Tobin and executive VP Katie Blackburn earlier this offseason. When asked whether the club would retain Mixon, Tobin said, “I don’t know,” and Blackburn was similarly noncommittal. Several weeks ago, a report from Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic suggested that Mixon will ultimately be asked to take a pay cut.

A pay cut may be the best outcome for both sides, as the Bengals would retain a 2021 Pro Bowler while reducing his $12.8MM cap number, and Mixon would avoid becoming a late addition to a free agent market that has proven quite unfriendly to running backs. Plus, it’s not as though he would be hitting the market with a great deal of momentum; he posted a subpar 3.9 YPC average in 2022 and is presently facing a misdemeanor charge of aggravated menacing.

If player and team do not discuss or come to terms on a salary reduction, the Bengals could release Mixon with a post-June 1 designation and shave over $10MM off their 2023 ledger. However, that would put a great deal of pressure on Trayveon Williams (47 career carries), Chris Evans (17 career carries), and fifth-round rookie Chase Brown.

If Cincy had been able to re-sign Samaje Perine, perhaps the club would have been more inclined to move on from Mixon and deploy a Perine/Brown tandem at the top of the RB depth chart. Or, if a blue-chip prospect like Bijan Robinson had fallen to them in this year’s draft, the Bengals might have been comfortable with such a player taking over RB1 duties right away. As it stands, however, it would seem that a team with Super Bowl aspirations would not immediately hand the running back reins to Brown, no matter how high his upside might be. So Taylor’s comments with respect to Mixon, who has joined the team for voluntary workouts, make sense.

For his part, Brown — a Doak Walker Award finalist who rushed for 1,643 yards and posted 13 total TDs in his final season with Illinois — is excited to work with Mixon.

“They have a great running back there right now, Joe Mixon, who I grew up watching and watched a lot through college,” Brown said. “So I’m excited to come in, learn from him, learn from the coaching staff and produce on Sundays.”