Burrow Backlash: Daniel

Burrow, holding injured hand during game
Burrow, holding injured hand during game

Former pro quarterback Chase Daniel says NFL teams need to wake up to the importance of backup quarterbacks. As a backup for six teams over 13 seasons, Daniels is an expert on the subject.

He was moved to shout out on social media after the Cincinnati Bengals lost star quarterback Joe Burrow for the season, leaving the team’s playoff chase in the hands of inexperienced backup Jake Browning

Browning played four years of college football at Washington and is in his fifth NFL season. But he had not played in a game until this year.

Cincinnati is the latest team to have to regroup at quarterback, as there are now six teams who likely lost their starter to injury for the season.

Daniel spoke up on social media:

“What a wasted season for The Bengals…with that roster,” Daniel said. “The BACK-UP QB is so damn important. Maybe this will be a sign for teams to SPEND on great backups!”

In  his 13 years with six teams Daniel started only five total games. Backup quarterbacks are one of the most intriguing positions in the league, as they don’t matter until they matter a whole lot. The Jets have been at the forefront of that idea, as they opted to go with Zach Wilson as Aaron Rodgers’s backup instead of a more experienced option.

While the Eagles won a Super Bowl after Nick Foles took over for Carson Wentz midseason in 2017, that seemed to be an anomaly in the league. Most teams can’t survive losing their starting quarterback to injury, but Daniel believes teams need to take that position more seriously to avoid the dilemma.

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Here is a rundown on this season’s messy quarterback quandary:

Joe Burrow, Bengals

The Bengals announced Friday that Burrow, their superstar quarterback, would miss the remainder of the 2023 seasn due to a torn ligament in his right throwing wrist.

Burrow sustained the injury in Cincinnati's Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. He was in obvious discomfort after throwing a second-quarter touchdown pass and couldn't grip the ball when he tried testing out his wrist on the sideline.

The Bengals, coming off consecutive trips to the AFC title game, turn to backup Jake Browning, who had attempted just one career pass prior to relieving Burrow against Baltimore..

Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets

Rodgers' highly anticipated New York Jets debut lasted just a handful of snaps. On New York's season-opening drive, Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles while being sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end Leonard Floyd. At the time of the Achilles injury, it was anticipated that Rodgers was lost for the season. But the four-time MVP underwent an innovative surgical procedure in which a "speed bridge" was used with the hope of speeding up the recovery time to as quick as four months.

And the 39-year-old Rodgers has teased a much-sooner-than-expected return. In Week 10, he told NBC's Melissa Stark that his goal was to be back on the field by mid-December, which would be roughly three months after the injury.

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Richardson's promising rookie campaign came to an end in Week 5. The No. 4 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts landed on his right throwing shoulder after being tackled by a pair of Tennessee Titans defenders.

Richardson exited the game and was diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, which he had season-ending surgery on.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Like Rodgers, Kirk Cousins also suffered a torn Achilles on a play where he was sacked. Cousins exited the Minnesota Vikings' Week 8 contest against the Green Bay Packers after being sacked by defensive end Kenny Clark.

After undergoing season-ending surgery, Cousins was sidelined due to injury for the first time in his NFL career.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

The New York Giants lost Jones for the season in Week 9. Jones suffered a torn ACL while trying to avoid a pass rush from Las Vegas Raiders star Maxx Crosby.

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

Watson was believed to be out for the seasons after an MRI revealed a broken bone in his right shoulder.  Watson sustained a broken bone in his right throwing shoulder, along with a high-ankle sprain, in the first half of Cleveland's Week 10 victory in Baltimore. While Watson finished the game, the shoulder injury required surgery that will knock him out for the rest of the season.

 

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