Joe Burrow has a strained calf. The Bengals have options at quarterback if their star quarterback is out for a long time.

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Joe Burrow is the key to the Cincinnati Bengals winning their first Super Bowl, and he is the one player the team can’t afford to lose. After Burrow hurt his calf at Bengals practice on Thursday and had to be taken away on a stretcher, Cincinnati is in limbo.

How bad Burrow’s injury is and how long their star player may be out is still unknown, but the Bengals will soon find out. If Burrow is out for a long time, the Bengals will have to do a lot of work to keep their chances of winning the Super Bowl alive.

Cincinnati needs Burrow to win a championship, of course. There are still some options on the roster and in free agency that could help them at least compete in the AFC this year.

Trevor Siemian

CIN • QB • #19

Siemian is the Bengals’ backup quarterback. This offseason, the team signed him to a one-year deal. Siemian has started six games in the last four years and 30 games throughout his eight-year career. Since 2017, he has not won a game he has started.

Siemian played in two games last season. He completed 15 of 26 passes (57.7%) for 184 yards, scored one touchdown, and threw one interception (76.4 rating). If the Bengals don’t want to start Siemian, they might find better options in free agency.

Carson Wentz

WAS • QB • #11

If Wentz wants one last chance to start, the Bengals could give him that chance. Last year, Wentz completed 62.3% of his passes for 1,755 yards, 11 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He had an 80.2 rating, so Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell were put in his place.

Wentz has started for three different teams in the last three years, but at 30 years old, he still doesn’t have a job. The veteran, who has played for seven years and started 92 out of 93 games, may have learned the value of patience.

Teddy Bridgewater

MIA • QB • #5

Bridgewater is a good backup quarterback who can also start a few games. This could be a good safety net for the Bengals if their starting quarterback gets hurt. He started two games and played in five for the Miami Dolphins last year. He completed 62% of his passes for 683 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions (85.6 rating).

Bridgewater, who was 30 then, started 14 games for the Denver Broncos in 2021. He completed 66.9% of his passes for 3,052 yards, with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions (94.9 rating). Bridgewater is a great offensive leader for the Bengals if they want a safe option to keep a good team in games.

Joe Flacco

NYJ • QB • #19

Flacco is 38 years old and has played in the NFL for 15 years. Since leaving the Baltimore Ravens, he has moved around the league and played for several teams. Some teams still like having him around as a veteran backup.

Last season, Flacco did start four games for the New York Jets. In those five games, he completed 57.6% of his passes for 1,051 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions for a 76.2 rating. Even at his worst, he’s a good backup.

Nick Foles

IND • QB • #9

The former Super Bowl MVP probably won’t get a call because his time as a starting quarterback is over. Foles started two games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022. He only completed 59.5% of his passes for 224 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions (34.3 rating).

Foles can win a game or two for a team that is in the hunt if they use him in the right way. If Burrow only has to miss a week or two, the Bengals could do much worse.

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