| Cincinnati Enquirer
Add Joe Burrow’s gruesome knee injury Sunday to the list of the knee injuries to No. 1 drafts picks that have changed the course of the Cincinnati Bengals franchise.
Whether Burrow’s injury, suffered in the third quarter of the 20-9 loss to the Washington Football Team has a long-term effect is impossible to say. It will likely cost Burrow the rest of his rookie season.
“We don’t have any final update,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said after the game.
Unlike quarterback Carson Palmer’s injury in 2005, Burrow’s injury did not derail a playoff drive. And unlike running back Ki-Jana Carter’s injury in 1995, Burrow’s injury will not likely derail a career.
The Bengals have to hope Burrow has the Palmer outcome. Palmer was an effective quarterback for 12 years after the injury.
Burrow’s teammates are confident he can.
“He’s a fighter,” A.J. Green said. “He’s a competitor. He’ll come back even better.”
Carter’s injury came on Aug. 17, 1995 — four months after the Bengals traded up to pick him first in the draft. He completely tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the game’s third play against the Detroit Lions. The turf at Pontiac Stadium was partially to blame. Carter injured himself, cutting to avoid a tackler.
Carter missed all the 1995 season. He returned in 1996 and played a total of seven seasons in the NFL, including four with the Bengals. But that quick burst that made him special was gone. He gained a total of 1,144 yards — fewer than he did in each of his last two years at Penn State.
Palmer’s injury came on Jan. 8, 2006, in the Wild Card Game at Paul Brown Stadium versus the Steelers. The Bengals had ended a 15-year playoff drought by winning the AFC North with an 11-5 record. Palmer set a team record with a 101.1 quarterback rating.
The Wild Card Game could not have begun much better and much worse at the same time for the Bengals. Palmer hit Chris Henry with a 66-yard strike on the first offensive play of the game. But after the pass was delivered, former Bengal Kimo von Oelhoffen dived into Palmer’s left knee.
The Bengals went on to lose 31-17 to the Steelers behind backup Jon Kitna.
Palmer’s injury was severe. He suffered tears of the ACL and medial cruciate ligament as well as displacement of the patella. It was described as career-threatening at the time.
He vowed to return in time for the 2006 opener after having reconstructive surgery.
Palmer did return. In fact, he was ready for the preseason.
Palmer would play five more seasons with the Bengals, two with Oakland Raiders and five with Arizona Cardinals. He had his best season at 36 —10 years after the injury.
Burrow shares more than talent with Palmer. Both are driven.
“There’s no doubt that that dude will be back,” defensive end Carl Lawson said of Burrow.