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Bengals backup quarterback Jake Browning on becoming the starter in Joe Burrow’s absence: ‘It sounds weird, but it's an opportunity for me’
The Cincinnati Bengals will be without star quarterback Joe Burrow for the remainder of the season. The former LSU standout suffered a torn ligament in his wrist during Thursday night’s game against the Ravens.
With the Bengals sitting at 5-5, coach Zac Taylor is not throwing in the towel on the season.
Taylor will now turn to Jake Browning and AJ McCarron at quarterback to navigate the remaining weeks of the regular season.
“Excited to see this team really band together for these last seven weeks and find a way,” Taylor told reporters. “And so we’re excited for that opportunity but obviously disappointed for Joe.”
Prior to playing in Thursday night’s game, Browning has played in only four regular-season snaps, since coming into the NFL as an undrafted rookie from Washington in 2019.
“What I thought was so special about him was how confident and calm he was,” Taylor said, “and that allowed me to call everything that was on the menu and not have to dumb it down because a new guy’s coming into the game. So that gave me confidence. I felt the team had that confidence. The coaching staff had that confidence. Jake’s worked for this opportunity his entire life, and he’s prepared the right way.”
Browning is excited to lead the Bengals and seize the opportunity in front of him.
"It sounds weird, but it's an opportunity for me," Browning said. "So that part's exciting, obviously close with Joe, bummed to see him go down. And it doesn't take away from the fact that it sucks to have him out and he's a big part of the team, obviously. But I think you know, for me, I'm not gonna hide the fact that I'm excited for my opportunity."
Browning went 8-of-14 passing for 68 yards and one touchdown in the 34-20 loss to the Ravens.
"Like all of this, it's an unfortunate situation for our team to be in where one of our best players hurt, but it's the reality of why you have a backup and why I prepare each week like I need to go in, so I'm excited," Browning said. "Excited for the opportunity."
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