The Bengals are in full-blown "nothing to see here" mode. And for good reason. If they get busted for hiding an injury to their starting quarterback. It could get expensive.
For now, it's known that quarterback Joe Burrow is out for the season with an injury to his throwing wrist. It's not known whether the injury is connected to why he was wearing a wrap on the same wrist one day earlier. Deepening that mystery is the fact that the Bengals posted on social media a video of Burrow with wrist wrap, and then deleted it.
Burrow told reporters on Friday that the wrist injury is a "completely different thing" from why he wore the wrap on Wednesday. He didn't say what the thing specifically was. (Also, watch the video. Look at the non-verbal tell as he's saying "completely different . . . different thing.")
“It’s not uncommon for guys to wear compression sleeves on planes," Burrow added. "When you go to altitude, things can swell up.”
I go to altitude twice per week during football season. And random body parts aren't spontaneously swelling up for me.
Things don't swell without trauma. Burrow necessarily had something on that wrist/hand/arm that was prone to swelling, presumably because some sort of injury.
Indeed, he conceded that he had "bumps and bruises."
Could it be that he had a condition with the wrist that became aggravated when he hit the ground on Thursday night? Was he predisposed to the injury that ended his season because of the "completely different thing"?
Here's the point. Whatever it is that caused him to be concerned about swelling in that area amounts to a condition that arguably should have been on the injury report.
Again, why did the Bengals delete the video? If it was no big deal, why not keep it up? If there was nothing to see here, why did someone say, basically, "Oh shit, we can't let them see that"?
The NFL is investigating. But the NFL has no incentive to conclude that the Bengals hid a pre-existing injury. The end result of the investigation will be the same four-word refrain to which we've all become accustomed.
Nothing to see here.