The Bengals have some explaining to do.
Yes, the league is investigating the team’s handling of Joe Burrow’s wrist injury. Starting with the question of whether it was injured before last night's game.
Common sense suggests it was, thanks to video posted — and deleted — by the Bengals of Burrow with a wrap on his wrist while traveling to Baltimore on Wednesday.
The NFL tells PFT that it "will review the matter with the club."
As one league source said on Friday morning, the investigation has already started. And the key will be practice video, which will show whether (for example) Burrow took all or most of the first-team reps — and whether (for example) Burrow was demonstrating any signs of discomfort, etc. while throwing.
Photos from Tuesday’s practice posted on the team's website don't show Burrow with any sort of wrap or protection on his wrist.
The NFL also will check training-room logs, to see whether Burrow received treatment on his wrist. Some players, however, get treatment away from the facility. It's entirely possible that Burrow concealed the injury from the team.
It's also possible that there was enough to put the team on notice that something was amiss. Coach Zac Taylor said after the game that he knew nothing about the issue until he saw the social-media reaction.
Well, that happened on Wednesday night. Shouldn't the Bengals have investigated and, if necessary, updated the injury report?
Here's the other reality to consider, in connection with this investigation. Is the league hoping simply to say that it looked into the situation, or is the league trying to get to the truth, no matter the consequence?
The actual motivation of the investigator is critical to the outcome of any investigation. Is the NFL looking to simply check a box? Or is the NFL looking to properly enforce its rules regarding the reporting of injuries?
We'll find out soon enough.