NFL Investigating Bengals for Not Reporting Joe Burrow Injury
The NFL’s injury reporting rules are clear. Teams are required to “provide credible, accurate, and specific information about injured players to the league office, their opponents, local and national media, and the league’s broadcast partners each week during the regular season and postseason.
“The reporting process is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.”
The NFL’s policy doesn’t specifically mention the millions of NFL bettors using online sportsbooks every day of the week, but that is also a big part of the policy. It’s also one of the drivers of the current investigation by the NFL into the wrist injury suffered by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
Video Shows Burrow With Wrist Splint
On Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, Burrow suffered a noncontact injury to his right wrist. After throwing a pass, he immediately winced in pain. A short time later on the sideline, he tried to throw the ball, but could barely grip it. Lip readers said that he was seen on the sideline saying, “I felt a pop.”
Burrow was quickly ruled out for the rest of the night, and backup quarterback Jake Browning took over.
That by itself is bad enough for the Bengals. But a since-deleted video posted by the Bengals as the team was arriving in Baltimore showed Burrow getting off the bus with what looked like a splint on his right wrist. There was also a video posted by a local media outlet, and It is now getting the Zapruder film treatment by amateur football detectives and the NFL.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said, “[Thursday] was the first I saw anything about it,” indicating that this was a new injury suffered by Burrow against the Ravens.
Some have suggested that the “splint” Burrow was wearing was actually an iPad drawing glove that prevents the hand from adding stray marks to the screen. And Burrow is carrying an iPad in the video that shows the glove/splint.
But former NFL offensive lineman Chris Long actually posted video from the game the week before, when the Bengals lost to the Houston Texans, that shows Burrow shaking his wrist in pain after he was hit. Long was quick to say that the video did not provide concrete evidence of the injury happening on Sunday, and that he himself did not have any inside information on if or when the injury occurred.
Burrow completed the game on Sunday against the Texans and didn’t appear to be favoring his wrist.
Past Injury Report Violations
Even before the NFL fully embraced legal sports betting, it took its injury reporting policy seriously. But since NFL betting has become legal in 38 states, the league has become more vigilant in its investigations.
In 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with head coach Mike Tomlin, were fined for failing to accurately report on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s practice status leading up to a Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2020, the NFL investigated the Buffalo Bills for reported torn ligaments in the wrist of Jerry Hughes. Hughes himself wrote about the injury on Twitter, but the Bills didn’t list him on their injury report even once all season. Ultimately, they were not fined.
In 2018, the then-Oakland Raiders were fined for listing guard Kelechi Osemele as questionable for a game at the Los Angeles Chargers, but not downgrading him to “out” when he didn’t make the trip south to L.A. That same year, the Miami Dolphins and head coach Adam Gase were fined for misreporting the practice status of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Fines are the most common punishment for violating the league’s injury reporting rules. But the NFL can also take away draft picks. However, that most severe punishment has never been used for this type of rule violation.
The Bengals lost the game on Thursday, 34-20, dropping them to 5-5 on the season. BetUS.com currently has the Bengals at +1200 to win the AFC.