The NFL has cleared the Cincinnati Bengals of any mishandling of Joe Burrow’s injury status after he suffered a season-ending torn ligament last month, an NFL spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Digital.
Burrow was not listed on the team’s injury report going into the November 16 game against the Baltimore Ravens. The team posted a video on X, which appeared to show him with a soft cast on his right hand, but later deleted the post.
Burrow later explained that the cast was actually a compression sleeve, noting that it was not uncommon for players to wear them on flights due to potential swelling.
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Joe Burrow, #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals, warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 16, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
However, on Cincinnati’s touchdown drive in the second quarter, Burrow was seen in clear pain as he threw a touchdown pass to running back Joe Mixon. He was replaced on the next drive, and the next day, the team announced that he’d miss the rest of the season.
Burrow, though, called the ligament tear a “completely new injury.”
“The league reviewed all medical records, studied practice video from the week preceding the club’s Week 10 game against the Houston Texans and the Week 11 game against Baltimore, interviewed relevant medical personnel and Burrow himself before arriving at its conclusion,” the NFL said in an email to Fox News Digital.
The league has taken injury reports more seriously in recent years, given the increase in fantasy sports and legalized gambling. The NFL reportedly warned teams in the spring meetings about reporting injuries properly.
The Bengals made Burrow the highest-paid player in NFL history with a massive five-year, $275 million deal when the season started in September, $219.5 million of it guaranteed.
Joe Burrow, #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals, walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 16, 2023, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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Burrow missed most of training camp when he strained a calf. In 10 games prior to the wrist injury, he threw for 2,309 yards on 66.8% passing with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Cincinnati have split their two games without Burrow, losing to their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers in their first full game without him, but upsetting the Jaguars in Jacksonville this past Monday night in overtime.
Since taking over, Jake Browning has completed 75.6% of his passes for 649 yards, three touchdowns, and a pick. Against the Jags, he went 32-for-37 for 354 yards.
Jake Browning, #6 of the Cincinnati Bengals, throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at EverBank Stadium on December 4, 2023, in Jacksonville, Florida. (Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
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Cincy will play host to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.