On Wednesday night the Cincinnati Bengals official Twitter account posted video of the team disembarking from the plane in Baltimore in advance of a Thursday Night Football battle with the Ravens. It didn't take too much eye strain to see that quarterback Joe Burrow had some sort of contraption on his throwing hand. Once people noticed, the post went bye-bye. It was a weird thing that picked up steam throughout the day yesterday with several blogs taking the intrigue and running with it.
After throwing a second-quarter touchdown to take a 10-7 lead, Amazon caught Burrow shaking his hand, then trying to grip the ball on the sideline. He was in obvious pain and was unable to continue. The Bengals turned to Jake Browning, who predictably did not have enough firepower to match Lamar Jackson score-for-score in what would turn out to be a 34-20 Cincinnati loss. At 5-5 the team is now in serious jeopardy of even making the playoffs and if Burrow's done for an extended period of time, their path seems quite narrow and difficult.
They may have other problems as well. Adam Schefter reports this morning that the NFL is investigating why the Bengals did not list Burrow on the injury report. Per Schefter, the NFL routinely looks into matters of compliance with the Injury Report policy, and will do so in this instance as well. Teams can be fined or even potentially lose a draft pick.
This doesn't seem good. It's possible that it's nothing more than a coincidence that Burrow had something on the very hand that betrayed him mere hours later and this is nothing more than some bad luck in the optics department. Possible, yet not likely.
Gamblers who trusted everything was on the up and up and backed the road dogs are already dealing with the damage and no investigation can put their beer or pizza money back into the account. They aren't an entirely sympathetic lot but you can feel their pain on this one.
The lesson is to just assume the absolute worse every time a grainy video potentially showing something surfaces and is quickly memory-holed. One can never be too careful or suspicious.