Jaguars news: The Joe Burrow injury changes the AFC playoff landscape

• Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending injury on TNF

• This injury benefits the Jaguars in Week 13

• But it also changes the landspace of the AFC playoff picture

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks off the field after the fourth quarter of the
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks off the field after the fourth quarter of the / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Bengals lost Joe Burrow to a wrist injury on Thursday Night Football. At the time, it was uncertain how serious the injury was but Cincy has since announced Burrow will miss the remainder of the 2023 season. This news will benefit the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13 but it will also have a significant impact on the AFC playoff picture.

Burrow left TNF in the second quarter, and the Baltimore Ravens went on to win 34-20, even though they also lost tight end Mark Andrews to an ankle injury. During the game controversy surrounding Burrow's wrist surfaced. The Bengals posted a video of him wearing a cast on him on the days prior. The team eventually deleted the clip from social media, which raised suspicion about Cincy not reporting that the quarterback was dealing with an injury.

For the moment though, Cincinnati's failure to report the injury and the league's potential investigation has taken a back seat to the fact that Burrow will miss the remainder of the season. With the former LSU standout unable to go, Jake Browning will be the Bengals' starting quarterback the rest of the year.

At 5-5, the Bengals' chances of making the playoffs have decreased considerably. The silver lining is that their offense still has a wide array of weapons on offense, namely running back Joe Burrow and a wide receiver corps that includes Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. That said, there's a step dropoff from Burrow to Browning, who may not be able to take full advantage of the arsenal.

The Joe Burrow injury has left a massive void in the AFC playoff race

The Jaguars will most definitely benefit from Joe Burrow's injury for Week 13's Monday Night Football. It's never pleasant to see a player go down but the show must go on. If Trevor Lawrence were to go down * knocks on wood * the Bengals wouldn't touch their heart. Instead, they would fully take advantage of this hypothetical edge. Similarly, Jacksonville cannot afford to pass up the opportunity. The rest of the AFC won't.

The Cleveland Browns, for example, installed Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center once it was announced Deshaun Watson would miss the rest of the season. Led by a stout defense, they're still in the thick of the AFC North race. Teams that have struggled in recent weeks, like the Miami Dolphins, or the Buffalo Bills, suddenly have a chance. The same is true for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have slowly crawled their way back up into the playoff race.

Of course, it won't matter that the Bengals will be without Joe Burrow if their opponents fail to seize the opportunity. While Browning is a backup quarterback, he's shown enough to the Cincinnati coaching staff to make them think he can help them win games. Otherwise, they wouldn't have kept him since 2021.

Keep in mind that Jake Browning doesn't have to be the second coming of Brock Purdy. All he needs to do is avoid mistakes, get the ball to his receivers and not take big risks. If he does, Cincy could end up making the playoffs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were set to have a daunting slate of games the next five weeks. But all the injuries to their AFC foes have made things a bit easier for them.

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