The Cincinnati Bengals are facing a potential quarterback crisis following Joe Burrow's calf injury in Wednesday's practice. Burrow is expected to be sidelined for several weeks, leaving the team in need of a reliable backup to stay competitive in the AFC.
Currently, the Bengals have Brandon Allen as their backup quarterback. While Allen has been a decent backup throughout his career, he has never been a full-time starter, with 1,700 passing yards and 10 touchdowns to his name.
Another option for the Bengals is Paxton Lynch who is a former first-round pick drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2016. Lynch has struggled to find success in the NFL, tallying just 2,620 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career.
Alternatively, the team could explore the free-agent market for potential backup quarterbacks. Some notable options include Teddy Bridgewater who boasts significant starting experience with 79 games under his belt, throwing for 20,140 yards and 97 touchdowns.
Marcus Mariota who is a mobile quarterback with 76 starts, has thrown for 24,348 yards and 108 touchdowns but has dealt with injuries. Jameis Winston, another seasoned quarterback with 96 starts, has an impressive 42,977 passing yards and 270 touchdowns, though he has struggled with turnovers.
The Bengals face a pressing decision in choosing a backup quarterback as Burrow's absence could significantly impact the team's performance. Brandon Allen has shown competence as a backup, while Paxton Lynch remains a potential project with untapped potential. The experienced free agents Bridgewater, Mariota, and Winston offer viable options, each bringing unique strengths and challenges to the table.
With Burrow being the backbone of the Bengals, the team cannot afford a prolonged absence for their star signal-caller. The management must act swiftly to secure a competent backup quarterback to maintain their competitiveness in the AFC.