March 5, 2024

Joe Burrow strains calf: QB options for Bengals if star signal-caller is sidelined significant amount of time

Joe Burrow is the catalyst toward the Cincinnati Bengals winning their first Super Bowl title, and the one player the franchise cannot afford to lose. The city of Cincinnati is in a holding pattern with its franchise quarterback after Burrow got carted off from Bengals practice Thursday with a calf injury. 

How series the injury will be for Burrow and the Bengals is uncertain as the franchise will soon find out how long their superstar may be out. If Burrow misses a significant amount of time, the Bengals will have to scramble to keep their hopes of winning a Super Bowl championship alive. 

Of course, Cincinnati needs Burrow to win a title. There are still some options on the roster and in free agency where they can at least compete in the AFC this year. 

The Bengals backup quarterback, Cincinnati signed Siemian to a one-year contract this offseason. Siemian has started six games over the last four years and 30 in his eight-year career, not winning a game he’s started since 2017. 

Siemian played two games last season, going 15 of 26 for 184 yards (57.7%) with a touchdown and an interception (76.4 rating). There may be better options in free agency if the Bengals don’t want to start Siemian. 

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If Wentz wants one last opportunity to start, he may have found it with the Bengals. Wentz completed 62.3% of his passes for 1,755 yards last year with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions (80.2 rating), getting benched in favor of Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell. 

Wentz has started for three different teams in the last three seasons and still hasn’t found a job to this point (he’s 30 years old). Patience may have been a virtue for the veteran, who has started 92 of 93 games played in his seven-year career. 

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Bridgewater is a good backup quarterback who is capable of starting a few games, which may be a good insurance policy for the Bengals. he started two games for the Miami Dolphins and played five last year, completing 62% of his passes for 683 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions (85.6 rating).

The 30-year-old Bridgewater did start 14 games for the Denver Broncos in 2021, completing 66.9% of his passes for 3,052 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions (94.9 rating). If the Bengals want a reliable option that will keep a talented team in games, Bridgewater is a very good player to have lead the offense. 

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Flacco is 38 and has been in the league for 15 seasons. Some teams still value having him around as a veteran backup, as he’s bounced around the league since his departure from the Baltimore Ravens. 

Flacco did start four games for the New York Jets last season, and completed 57.6% of his passes for 1,051 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions (76.2 rating) in five games. At the very worst, he’s a valuable backup. 

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The former Super Bowl MVP likely won’t be getting a call, as his days as a starting quarterback appear behind him. Foles started two games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, completing just 59.5% of his passes for 224 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions (34.3 rating). 

In the right system, Foles is a valuable insurance policy who can win a game or two for a contending team. The Bengals could do much worse if Burrow only has to miss a week or two. 

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