Should The Bengals Sit Joe Burrow?

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals. Photo by Adam Lacy/CSM/Shutterstock (10887005s)

At what point does the Cincinnati Bengals’ lack of protection for the crown jewel of this year’s draft, number 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, becomes malpractice? The quarterback has taken a serious amount of punishment in his five weeks as an NFL starter. He has been sacked 22 times, hit 50 times, and pressured 65 times. He “leads” the NFL in all three of those categories.

Burrow faced his toughest test yet when he faced the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, and it could not have gone much worse. Burrow was hit 14 times and sacked seven times during the 27-3 loss. There were at least three moments when it was fair to wonder if Burrow would get up and if whether the punishment he was taking was worth it, for Burrow or the franchise.

Some quarterbacks’ careers are over before they begin. They get hit, slammed, dropped, and rocked. They join bad teams, with bad owners, bad coaches, and a roster lacking in talent. They get hit and hit and then hit some more. Before they realize it, the league has beaten the natural playmaking instincts out of a quarterback.

The Bengals are left with a tough decision to make. They are currently a team going nowhere this season while Burrow is ready to win right now. The Bengals should think long-term and protect Burrow until he, at the very least, has a competent core around him ready to win just like Burrow.