Joe Burrow suffered more than just an ACL tear in his knee Sunday.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Monday that Burrow tore the MCL in addition to the ACL in his left knee, an MRI revealed, per a source informed of the injury. The team placed him on injured reserve.
The news confirms the No. 1 overall pick is done for the year. Burrow will undergo reconstructive surgery and rehab for 2021.
Based on Monday’s tests, the Bengals are anticipating Burrow to need 8-9 months of recovery and be ready around the beginning next season, Pelissero added.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor later confirmed that Burrow will undergo season-ending knee surgery, however, he did not currently have a timeline for when the procedure will occur.
Taylor added that the Bengals “expect him to make a full recovery”, but he did not speculate that Burrow would be ready for Week 1 of the 2021 season, per ESPN.com.
“He’s an expert at missing an offseason and playing efficiently,” Taylor said.
The Bengals QB left Sunday’s loss to Washington early in the third quarter after getting crunched by two defenders in an unfortunate high-low combo. Burrow writhed in obvious pain on the turf and was carted off the field. He was immediately ruled out.
With both the MCL and ACL torn, Burrow is in for a lengthy rehab. For comparison, Carson Wentz suffered a similar multi-ligament knee tear on Dec. 10, 2017, and missed the first two games of the 2018 campaign.
With his season over, Burrow will set several Bengals per-game rookie records for completion percentage (65.3), passing yards per game (268.8) and passer rating (89.8).
The Bengals were 2-7-1 with the Heisman Trophy winner under center this season. Burrow completed 264 of 404 attempts for 2,688 yards, 13 TDs, five INTs and took 32 sacks. Only Wentz (40) and Russell Wilson (33) took more sacks through Week 11. Burrow was not sacked on Sunday.
Cincinnati is likely to prioritize offensive line upgrades in the offseason to help keep Burrow upright in his return from the knee injury.
Ryan Finley is in line to take over starting duties for a Cincinnati offense that is destined to be downgraded without its rookie phenom. The Bengals earned just 17 total net yards after Burrow left the game on five drives — compared to 255 yards and nine points in seven drives with the rookie. Finley completed 3 of 10 passes for 30 yards with one INT and was sacked four times for a 0.0 passer rating in relief.
The Bengals also plan to sign Brandon Allen to the active roster from the practice squad, Pelissero reported.