Joe Burrow led the Bengals to the brink of a Lombardi Trophy last season, one year after suffering a terrible injury to his left knee. He’s back now, trying to do it again.
Burrow and the Bengals will travel to Buffalo for a pivotal divisional playoff game against the Bills this weekend. The winners will advance to the AFC Championship, while the losers will have their Super Bowl dreams dashed.
Burrow, now in his third season in the NFL, has been outstanding once again this season, throwing for the fifth most passing yards (4,475) and third most passing touchdowns (35) in the league.
He hasn’t missed a single game due to injury since recovering from the knee injury that kept him out of his rookie season. That’s fantastic news for Cincinnati fans, who have seen what he’s capable of in recent years. But what if Bengals fans’ worst nightmare comes true and he gets hurt?
Here is the QB depth chart behind Burrow:
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback depth chart
If Burrow is killed, Brandon Allen will almost certainly take his place.
Allen, who attended Arkansas, has bounced around the league since being drafted by the Jaguars in 2016. He spent one season in Jacksonville as the third-string quarterback behind Blake Bortles and Chad Henne before being claimed off waivers by the Rams.
After two years of not playing in Los Angeles, he was traded to the Denver Broncos. As a replacement for the injured Joe Flacco, he got his first taste of NFL action there. He won his first NFL start, throwing for 193 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-19 victory over the Browns.
He’s been with the Bengals for three years, and he started five games for them while Burrow was injured in 2020, going 1-4. He had a miserable outing in the final of those five games, going 6 of 21 for 48 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions against the Ravens.
His most recent start was against the Browns in Week 18 of last season, a 21-16 loss.
Allen is the only other active quarterback on the Bengals’ roster. They do, however, have Jake Browning on the practice squad to whom they can turn.
Browning, a Washington product, has been in the league for three years after being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings in 2019. Last season, he was signed to the Bengals’ practice squad, where he still is today. Zac Taylor would only play Browning in a playoff game as a last resort because he has never played in the NFL.