What is a throat contusion? Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah each taken to hospital

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After the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow met Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at midfield. Then Burrow spoke with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase about what could have gone better during the game.

And then, according to a Bengals team spokesperson, Burrow went to a local hospital to be given a preliminary evaluation for a potential throat contusion.

Burrow wasn't the only NFL player taken to the hospital as a precaution for a potential throat contusion. Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah also was taken to a hospital.

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What is a throat contusion?

It’s a very rare injury diagnosis in the NFL, and it’s more common following car accidents and boxing matches. According to Dr. Timothy Kremchek –– the team medical director for the Cincinnati Reds and a direct consultant for NFL players at Beacon Orthopaedics –– a throat contusion is a result of direct trauma to the neck.

“If people have trouble breathing or your voice changes, you’ve got to be very aware with someone who got hit in the throat that they don’t have significant injuries,” Kremchek said. “Typically they’ll go to the hospital and be evaluated by a CAT Scan just to make sure there are no fractures or threatening injuries.”

Joe Burrow fortunately got up from a big hit from the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
Joe Burrow fortunately got up from a big hit from the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

How do you treat a throat contusion?

If there isn’t a fracture, Kremchek said the only “rehab” process is getting the swelling down in the neck. That can happen quickly, but it’s crucial to take this type of injury seriously.

Since the voice box and the airway are at the front of the neck, a fracture can impact two parts of the body. A change in breathing patterns or a change in your voice can signal the need to be evaluated, and Kremchek said there’s typically a CAT Scan at the hospital when someone’s being evaluated for a potential throat contusion.

“They’re not common, but when they happen, you’ve got to make sure nothing is fractured,” Kremchek said. “You can’t just blow it off.”

Since there are blood vessels at the front of the neck, Kremchek said there’s the possibility of bruising. If there isn’t a fracture, the only challenge is getting the swelling down. During this process, he said it’s common to take anti-inflammatory medicine, but there’s no vigorous rehab process.

“If there isn’t anything broken like a fractured voice box and it’s all intact, you just need time,” Kremchek said. “He could be back next week. Once you make sure the airway isn’t compromised, all you do is rest and allow the swelling to go down.”

During the game on Sunday, Burrow completed 26 of his 38 passes for 282 yards and led a fourth quarter comeback and put the Bengals in position to win in both regulation and overtime.

Ja’Marr Chase: Joe Burrow didn't appear to have trouble speaking

Chase said that in their post-game conversation, Burrow didn’t appear to have any trouble speaking.

“We were just talking (after the game) about how we just have to let this game go,” Chase said. “We played our hearts out. We just have to let this game go and go onto the next game.”

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: What is a throat contusion? Joe Burrow, Owusu-Koramoah hospitalized