Joe Burrow

Largest 2024 Cap Hits: Offense

The NFL’s salary cap ceiling was expected to see a large increase this offseason, but estimates proved to be on the low side. A record-setting jump resulted in a cap of $255.4MM for teams to work with.

That has resulted in new waves of spending at a few positions, with quarterbacks and receivers seeing continued growth at the top of the market. Last offseason offered a strong chance of the league seeing at least one $40MM-plus cap charge, but the Browns avoided such a scenario with a Deshaun Watson restructure. Owing to that move – and the lack of further adjustments this spring – however, Watson’s financial impact is set to grow considerably this season.

Here are the league’s top cap charges on offense leading up to training camp:

  1. Deshaun WatsonQB (Browns): $63.77MM
  2. Dak PrescottQB (Cowboys): $55.13MM
  3. Matthew StaffordQB (Rams): $49.5MM
  4. Kyler MurrayQB (Cardinals): $49.12MM
  5. Daniel JonesQB (Giants): $47.86MM
  6. Patrick MahomesQB (Chiefs): 37.01MM
  7. Lamar JacksonQB (Ravens): $32.4MM
  8. Trent WilliamsLT (49ers): $31.57MM
  9. Tyreek HillWR (Dolphins): $31.32MM
  10. Josh AllenQB (Bills): $30.36MM
  11. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $29.78MM
  12. Taylor MotonRT (Panthers): $29.75MM
  13. Joe BurrowQB (Bengals): $29.55MM
  14. Deebo SamuelWR (49ers): $28.63MM
  15. Chris GodwinWR (Buccaneers): $27.53MM
  16. Jared GoffQB (Lions): $27.21MM
  17. Joe ThuneyLG (Chiefs): $26.97MM
  18. Geno SmithQB (Seahawks): $26.4MM
  19. Laremy TunsilLT (Texans): $25.86MM
  20. Davante AdamsWR (Raiders): $25.35MM
  21. Quenton NelsonLG (Colts): $25.2MM
  22. Kirk CousinsQB (Falcons): $25MM
  23. Jawaan TaylorRT (Chiefs): $24.73MM
  24. D.K. Metcalf, WR (Seahawks): $24.5MM
  25. Christian KirkWR (Jaguars): $24.24MM

Watson’s figure will shatter the NFL record for the largest single-season cap charge if no adjustments are made in the coming weeks. The hits for Prescott, Murray, Stafford and Jones also would have set a new benchmark if not for the Browns passer, a sign of the QB market’s continued upward trajectory. Cleveland is set to remain in a similar situation for the next three years as Watson plays out his fully guaranteed $230MM deal.

Prescott’s future is one of several important questions the Cowboys need to answer relatively soon. With CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons due for second contracts, an extension for the three-time Pro Bowler will need to take into account future commitments. While Prescott has considerable leverage (via no-tag and no-trade clauses), he joins Jones in facing an uncertain post-2024 future in the NFC East.

The latter saw the Giants make an effort to trade up for a quarterback in April and he reacted in an understandable manner. Jones’ $40MM-per-year 2023 extension remains the dominant storyline surrounding the team, and a decision on retaining him or moving on will need to be made prior to a potential out early next offseason. Murray’s performance this fall will likewise be worth watching; he has received consistent praise from head coach Jonathan Gannon, but he will aim to put together a fully healthy season following 2023’s truncated campaign.

Stafford and the Rams have a mutual desire to continue their relationship, but he is seeking guarantees beyond the 2024 campaign. The 36-year-old’s representatives have been in discussion on a resolution during the offseason, although even in the absence of one a training camp holdout is not expected. The likes of Mahomes, Jackson and Allen retain a place in the top 25, and the same will no doubt be true of Burrow for years to come.

Of the receivers listed, only Hill is known to be actively pursuing a new deal. The 30-year-old once led the receiver market with a $30MM AAV, a figure inflated by non-guaranteed money at the end of the pact. With the bar having been raised to new heights this offseason, Hill could join teammate Jaylen Waddle in securing a new payday. Since the team has a Tua Tagovailoa extension on the horizon, however, Miami could hesitate on the Hill front.

It come as little surprise that Williams tops the list for offensive linemen. The 11-time Pro Bowler has been mentioned in retirement rumors before, but playing to age 40 is now a goal. Meeting it could require future contract adjustments. Samuel’s future in the Bay Area was a talking point this offseason as the team attempts to keep Brandon Aiyuk in the fold. One of the high-profile wideouts may be playing for a new team for the first time in their career in 2025.

Elsewhere along the O-line, Moton and Taylor demonstrate the value seen at the right tackle spot in recent years. Given the developments of the guard market this offseason, though, the likes of Thuney and Nelson will have competition for spots on the list in future years. Similarly, the non-Hill wideouts could easily be surpassed in the future with a further additions set to be made (particularly by Lamb, Aiyuk and Ja’Marr Chase) at the top of the ever-increasing market.

Goff joined the $50MM-per-year club on his third NFL deal, whereas Cousins continued to add to his impressive NFL earnings by joining the Falcons. If healthy, the latter could prove to be an effective pickup for a team aiming to return to the postseason (while quieting questions about a transition to Michael Penix Jr. under center). Smith also has plenty riding on this season with a new Seahawks coaching staff in place which incrementally arrived at the decision he will serve as the starter in 2024.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow Addresses 2024 Health Outlook

Joe Burrow threw without restrictions during spring practices for the Bengals, and he is expected to be full healthy by the start of the regular season. A key storyline for 2024 will be his ability to remain available for entire campaign, though.

The former No. 1 pick entered last season with concerns stemming from the calf strain he suffered in the summer. A dislocated wrist ultimately shut him down for the year, adding further to his missed time in the NFL. Burrow has suffered two ACL tears in his career, and twice in his four Cincinnati campaigns he has been limited to 10 contests. Rather than focusing on a quick recovery process this offseason, attention shifted to a longer rehab aimed at putting him in a better position throughout the coming year.

“Number one, I want to be on the field for all the games,” Burrow said during an interview with Complex Sports“I know I’m going to play well when I’m out there. I’m at that point in my career where I’ve seen enough ball and I know myself that I can go out there and play as well as anybody in the game.

“The biggest strides this year are going to be my body and learning how to get through the season, get through practices with my body feeling tip-top shape. And so that’s the main focus for the offseason.”

If healthy, the 27-year-old figures to give the Bengals a strong chance of contending in a highly competitive AFC. The team did manage a 9-8 record despite needing to lean on Jake Browning to close out the season in 2023, but its offense – featuring a number of new faces – will of course have a higher ceiling with Burrow back in place. Cincinnati’s receiving corps no longer includes Tyler Boyd, leaving the tandem of Ja’Marr Chase and franchise tag recipient Tee Higgins in place atop the depth chart; that pair has proven to be a strong pass-catching asset for Burrow.

Of course, expectations will remain high for the latter as he is tied with Trevor Lawrence for having the league’s highest AAV ($55MM) on his contract. Burrow is on the books through 2029, and his availability will be a central aspect of the Bengals’ success for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see if he makes progress this offseason with respect to improving his pain management and overall ability to stay on the field considering the importance of doing so for team and player in this case.

Bengals’ Joe Burrow Addresses Injury History, 2024 Rehab Plan

Joe Burrow has proven to be one of the league’s top quarterbacks over the course of his career, but injuries have been a factor in that span as well. The Bengals’ franchise passer is in the midst of rehabbing the dislocated wrist which ended his 2023 campaign, and his mindset in doing so is different than in years past.

Burrow was not on a pitch count during OTAs and minicamp, an encouraging sign of his progress in recovery so far. When speaking about his status, he added he is still not 100%, but he should be at full strength in time for the start of the regular season. Remaining healthy for a full campaign will be critical for Cincinnati’s success, and the former No. 1 pick noted his history of being sidelined when addressing his most recent ailment.

“Whenever the injuries start to stack up, your football mortality kind of comes into the back of your mind,” Burrow said (via NFL.com). “So that’s definitely something I’ve thought about and something I have had to fight through.”

The 27-year-old (who is attached to the five-year, $275MM extension he signed last offseason) has suffered multiple torn ACLs in his career, and a calf strain suffered last summer had an impact on his 2023 performance prior to the wrist injury which shut him down. Burrow has played through pain on a number of occasions, but he and the team have adopted a different strategy this year in that regard. Focus will be placed on a slower rehab process as the offseason unfolds with an emphasis on being at full strength for the fall.

“That’s something we’re being more proactive about this year,” the LSU alum added. “We don’t have to be ready to go in the middle of June. We have to be ready to go early September through February. That’s how we’re attacking this offseason and this rehab plan and these practices and training camp.”

Jake Browning is still in place as Cincinnati’s backup quarterback after he generally fared well in Burrow’s stead last season. If all goes according to plan, the former UDFA will not be counted on nearly as much in 2024, of course, but Burrow’s status will remain worth monitoring throughout the summer.

Latest On Joe Burrow’s Bengals OTAs Participation

The Bengals’ 2024 season was dealt a major blow when Joe Burrow was shut down due to a torn wrist ligament. His latest ailment threated to cause missed time in the offseason, but that has not turned out to be the case.

Burrow resumed throwing in the early portion of Cincinnati’s offseason program. Unlike most teams, the Bengals have yet to start OTAs. When they begin tomorrow, however, Burrow will be participating. In terms of workload in any one session, there will notably be no restrictions.

“We designed the whole thing to stay within the constraints of where the medical people think he should be and where he wants to be right now,” offensive coordinator Dan Pitcher said (via the team’s website). “Nobody is sitting there with a special pitch counter. But we’ve been smart how we put it together.”

It would come as no surprise if the team took a cautious approach with Burrow this summer, and Pitcher’s comments confirm his rehab is being taken under consideration regarding his workout schedule. The Pro Bowler has dealt with injuries on a regular basis during training camp, rehabbing his ACL tear in 2021, undergoing an appendectomy the following year and dealing with a calf strain in 2023. A fully health training camp would certainly be welcomed by both team and player this time around.

The Bengals’ offense will have a number of new faces in 2024, with Pitcher replacing Brian Callahan as OC (although head coach Zac Taylor will retain play-calling duties). Longtime running back Joe Mixon is no longer in the fold, nor is veteran receiver Tyler Boyd. Expectations will nevertheless remain high for Burrow if he manages to put together a healthy campaign. Cincinnati managed a 9-8 finish last year despite Burrow missing seven contests.

That mark was insufficient for a playoff berth, but a return to the playoffs will not be out of the question if Burrow can regain his previous form in 2024. The 2021 Comeback Player of the Year’s health status will remain worth watching closely as the summer unfolds, but he will be taking starter’s reps at OTAs in a positive sign for his long-term outlook.

Latest On Joe Burrow’s Injury Recovery

Nearly six months after suffering a torn wrist ligament, Joe Burrow is throwing to his receivers. The Bengals franchise quarterback hit a significant milestone in his recovery from a wrist injury, as the team’s website passes along that Burrow was participating in the team’s offseason program today.

Monday marked the start of the second phase of the Bengals’ voluntary offseason program. When Burrow underwent surgery to repair a damaged ligament in the middle of his right wrist, it was uncertain when the quarterback would return to the practice field. There were rumblings that Burrow might not start throwing until training camp, but the veteran ended up beating that timeline by almost three months.

While today’s practice wasn’t open to the media, many members of the Bengals organization were excited about Burrow’s recovery, including new QB coach Brad Kragthorpe.

“I think he looked as quick and as athletic as I’ve seen him look,” Kragthorpe told the team’s website. “He looked like the Joe Burrow we’re used to seeing. I didn’t see any difference. I thought the ball came out of his hand well. Confidently. I’m happy where he’s at.”

The late-November surgery ended an injury-marred 2023 campaign for Burrow. Prior to his season-ending injury, the QB was slowed by a calf issue during training camp. That injury continued an ongoing theme where Burrow would miss extended time during training camp (following recovery from an ACL injury (2021) and an appendectomy (2022)).

Burrow previously admitted to ESPN’s Ben Baby that he normally “wouldn’t be throwing until OTAs really anyway,” so the QB sounds like he’s a bit ahead of his standard offseason regimen. Still, given the player’s list of offseason setbacks, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the organization eventually pumps the brakes and takes it slow with their franchise quarterback.

AFC North Notes: Burrow, Browns, Ravens

The Bengals have grown accustomed to Joe Burrow missing considerable practice time. ACL rehab (2021), an appendectomy (2022) and this summer’s calf strain have kept the star quarterback off the field during extended portions of training camp. More of the same could be coming in 2024. Burrow is on the shelf for the season’s remainder due to a wrist injury, one the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway notes is a tear in the scapholunate ligament. This injury will call for a four- to six-month recovery timetable.

Burrow going down in mid-November will put his availability for the team’s offseason program up in the air. It has not yet been determined if Burrow will throw during OTAs or minicamp, per Conway, who adds the injury damaged a ligament in the middle of his right wrist. Burrow underwent surgery on Nov. 27 in Pennsylvania. Given Burrow’s history of offseason setbacks, it would not surprise to see the Bengals keep the NFL’s highest-paid player on the shelf until training camp.

While Zac Taylor will be back for a sixth season as head coach, the next Bengals offseason program could feature a new offensive coordinator given the NFL’s demand for offense-oriented coaches and fifth-year OC Brian Callahan‘s role in Jake Browning’s early work replacing Burrow. Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • The Ravens already came to terms on an extension with Broderick Washington, but ascending defensive lineman Justin Madubuike is also believed to be in the team’s plans. Baltimore has an extensive history letting front-seven players walk in free agency and pocketing compensatory picks. Matt Judon, C.J. Mosley and Pernell McPhee are among the more recent examples here, but The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec offers that the fourth-year D-lineman is playing too well for the team to consider letting him go (subscription required). With the team looking for an interior rush presence for a while, Zrebiec points to a new deal or a franchise tag for the former third-round pick. Madubuike’s team-leading 12 sacks have bolstered a Ravens pass rush that again entered a season with questions. The Ravens, who did tag Judon before letting him walk a year later, would need to pony up at least $19.5MM to tag Madubuike.
  • On the subject of interior D-linemen, two of the Ravens’ AFC North rivals attempted to claim fourth-year DT Teair Tart this week. The Bengals and Browns submitted unsuccessful claims for the veteran nose tackle, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. The Texans claimed Tart, who follows Derek Barnett as a Houston D-lineman claim this season. Although the Texans are 8-6, the Bengals are positioned in the playoffs presently due to tiebreakers. That worked in Houston’s favor on the wire.
  • A recent report pegged Ogbo Okoronkwo as being out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot notes the Browns edge rusher has sought a second opinion and is not yet certain to be shut down. The Browns have not yet placed Okoronkwo on IR, pointing to a potential re-emergence. Although this season has featured three notable comebacks from pectoral tears (Avonte Maddox, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DaQuan Jones), Okoronkwo suffering a tear, which Cabot indicates he has, would likely shut him down due to the timing of the injury. Maddox and Gardner-Johnson rehabbed from Week 2 maladies; Jones suffered his injury in Week 5. Okoronkwo avoiding a season-ending injury would obviously boost the Browns, who have seen a number of key performers go down with major injuries this year.

NFL Finds Bengals Compliant After Lack Of Injury Report On QB Joe Burrow

After Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending torn thumb ligament during a Thursday night loss to the division-rival Ravens in Week 11, the NFL decided to conduct an investigation into whether or not Burrow should have been included on the injury report prior to the matchup. The result of the investigation was reported on today by Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports with Jones stating that the league found no wrongdoing as Cincinnati was “in full compliance with the league’s injury report policy.”

The investigation was deemed necessary after an intriguing series of events that saw the Bengals’ social media team delete a post that showed the team arriving in Baltimore. Closer inspection of video revealed that Burrow has an apparatus on his wrist, the same wrist that he would eventually injure against the Ravens. This led many to believe that the Bengals were perhaps covering up a potential injury from the NFL and their opponents, which would be against NFL regulations.

Officially, teams are required to disclose injuries in the spirit of fairness, so that an opposing club has the ability to strategize against the correct personnel. It’s also in the best interest of the players, as playing with injuries can lead to more severe consequences for the individual. In theory, if a team fails to report concussion symptoms from a practice injury, the NFL would be unable to hold that player from participation. Unofficially, now that gambling has become a prevalent source of income for the NFL, accurate injury reports become crucial for the appropriate setting of lines. Unknown injuries, especially at a position as critical as quarterback, could result in major line swings.

The Bengals immediately denied any wrongdoing, with team doctors claiming that Burrow’s injury was “acute and not one that happened over time.” Burrow would later claim that the apparatus was merely a compression sleeve used to help prevent swelling during flights and was unrelated to any injuries.

Regardless, Cincinnati turned over medical records and practice footage from the week prior to the game. After reviewing the materials and interviewing Burrow and relevant medical personnel, the league determined that the team had been in compliance with their reporting. Burrow successfully underwent wrist surgery at the end of November and is expected to return to play well before the start of the 2024 season.

While some have speculated that the league’s young ties to the betting world made this their only possible conclusion, the Bengals have avoided the potential punishment of a team fine, individual fines, or the loss of future draft picks. The team reportedly followed the necessary protocol on disclosing their injuries and should have Burrow back next year.

AFC North Rumors: Bengals, Battle, Watson, Steelers

The Bengals have already announced that starting quarterback Joe Burrow‘s season is over after he suffered a thumb ligament tear. The only information left to report on Burrow’s situation is that he is set to undergo wrist surgery tomorrow, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The expectation is that Burrow will be able to make a full recovery in time for the 2024 season.

On the administrative side of things, Rapoport also reports that the league is “investigating if Cincinnati should have listed Burrow on its injury report prior to” the game in which he seemingly suffered the season-ending injury. The night before the team’s matchup in Baltimore, Burrow was shown on a team social media post with an apparatus on his right wrist before the post was taken down. That same wrist is the one receiving surgery tomorrow. Rapoport says that the Bengals have “turned in hours of footage to the NFL showing that Burrow was healthy prior to the game.” The team’s doctors claim that the injury was acute and not one that happened over time.

The team opted to run Burrow’s offense and playbook in Jake Browning‘s first career start. The Bengals coaches had full confidence in Browning running the offense but still planned to run the ball a bit more than usual to take some pressure off his shoulders. Browning and the Bengals would lose to Pittsburgh, but Browning would complete 19 of 26 pass attempts for 227 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The plan to run the ball a bit more fell through as limited possession time and offensive success led to only 11 carries.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC North, staying in Cincinnati for a beat:

  • Another position for the Bengals experienced a change in starter as defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo announced rookie third-round pick Jordan Battle as the team’s starting strong safety over Nick Scott earlier this week, per Kelsey Conway of USA Today. Scott still had a role in today’s game but played a clear second fiddle to Battle. Asked what about Battle made him the choice at starter, Anarumo claimed it was his tackling ability.
  • Another AFC North starting quarterback underwent surgery for their season-ending injury as the BrownsDeshaun Watson had a procedure done on his shoulder earlier this week, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Watson is expected to be healed in time to start the 2024 season.
  • A big story in the struggles of the Steelers’ offense this year has been the frustration of wide receiver Diontae Johnson. Those frustrations reportedly boiled over after last week’s loss to the Browns, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, leading to a heated argument with star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick that needed to be broken up by teammates Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt. Johnson only had two catches on the day and was visibly upset on the sideline as he engaged in an animated conversation with head coach Mike Tomlin. Johnson’s annoyance would continue as he was later seen “chirping” at the coaches all the way to the locker room after the game before being confronted by Fitzpatrick. Perhaps the firing of former offensive coordinator Matt Canada helped to cool Johnson down, as Johnson received eight targets today.

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, ESPN.com’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 NFL.com’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.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Steelers, Chubb

The Bengals and Steelers were not among the teams who made deals at the trade deadline, but each contender looked into buyer’s moves on defense. Specifically, the AFC North rivals were among the teams to pursue cornerback help, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. Both the 49ers and Bills discussed Jaylon Johnson with the Bears, and Buffalo ended up parting with a third-round pick (in a pick-swap move) to obtain Green Bay’s Rasul Douglas. That marked the only move for a corner at the deadline, though the Chargers did send J.C. Jackson to the Patriots in early October.

Chidobe Awuzie‘s return from ACL surgery has not resulted in the veteran regaining his form, and the Bengals have used younger corners Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner as their starters alongside slot Mike Hilton in recent weeks. Pro Football Focus does not grade any of Cincy’s corners in the top 60 at the position. The Bengals rank 25th against the pass. More reliant on their defense without a Joe Burrow-like pilot on offense, the Steelers sit 27th. Joey Porter Jr. has replaced Levi Wallace opposite Patrick Peterson, who is in his age-33 season. With Wallace, Peterson and Chandon Sullivan short-term fixes, Porter represents Pittsburgh’s only long-term cog here post-Cameron Sutton.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Joe Burrow has improved since the summer calf injury significantly restricted him early this season, but ahead of a pivotal Thursday-night matchup against the Ravens, the superstar Bengals QB was spotted wearing a brace or sleeve on his throwing hand. The Bengals shared video of their arrival in Baltimore but later deleted the tweet, though WCPO’s Caleb Noe spotted the fourth-year passer with the brace. This may not be especially important, as Burrow has not missed an NFL game due to injury since his rookie-year ACL tear. Seeing as the Bengals did not disclose a Burrow hand injury and deleted a video that may indicate one, this is worth monitoring.
  • The Steelers are 6-3 despite being outgained in all nine games this season. Kenny Pickett ranks 28th in QBR, and while he has been without Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth for extended stretches, the 2022 first-round pick has not shown tremendous progress in Year 2. The subject of Matt Canada‘s job security continues to come up, after Mike Tomlin gave him a third year following Pickett progress late last season. With the offense still a chief concern in Pittsburgh, The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly does not expect Canada to be retained for a fourth year. That said, the veteran reporter indicates (subscription required) a dramatic Pickett improvement would be Canada’s vehicle to staying. If Canada is let go, he will be the second three-and-done Steelers OC. The team initially promoted Canada from within to replace Randy Fichtner in 2021.
  • On the subject of Steelers assistants, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac notes the team did not offer Brian Flores a promotion opportunity to convince him to stay. The Steelers did not dangle their DC job to keep Flores, whom Tomlin hired as linebackers coach following a surprising Dolphins dismissal. Viewed as a way for Flores to reestablish his value amid an ongoing discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and select teams, the Steelers stint proved effective. Despite the ongoing suit, Flores interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job and received steady DC interest ahead of his Vikings hire. Teryl Austin is in his second season as Pittsburgh’s DC but has been with the team since 2019.
  • Head Browns physician James Voos performed Nick Chubb‘s second ACL surgery, the Browns announced this week. The team revealed the operation was successful, and the procedure will put Chubb on track to return in 2024. While two knee surgeries at this juncture of his career will introduce some hurdles for Chubb, a 2024 return was previously floated out as realistic. Chubb’s three-year, $36.6MM contract runs through 2024.