Joe Burrow's sensational rookie season is over after the Bengals quarterback tore his ACL during Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team. Is Cincinnati somewhat responsible for Burrow's season-ending injury? Rex Ryan thinks so.
The former coach said that the team put the rookie quarterback in a position that made the chances of him getting injured a virtual certainty.
"He's had more drop-back passes than any quarterback in the league," Ryan said on ESPN's "Get Up." "That's how you're going to handle a rookie quarterback with a horrible offensive line and a bad football team? That's not what you do to this kid."
Rex Ryan is upset about Joe Burrow's injury and the way the Bengals handled things with their rookie QB.— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 23, 2020
"He's the face of the franchise, not you as a coach! ... I think it was reckless in the way that they handled him." pic.twitter.com/CEvbIbWCPw
Ryan said that he was worried about Burrow getting hurt before the injury, and the numbers do support the idea that the Bengals may have been asking too much out of the young quarterback. Burrow is the third-most sacked quarterback in the league this season, behind only Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson, and it's no secret that Cincinnati has among the worst offensive lines in the league.
According to Ryan, second-year head coach Zac Taylor was likely desperate for his team to deliver some wins in order to avoid being fired so he did not try to limit Burrow in any way. Ryan says that the reality of losing Burrow far outweighs the short-term attempts at competing, especially since the Bengals remain one of the worst teams in the league despite Burrow's outstanding play.
"I think it was reckless in the way they handled him..." Ryan said. "We saw it coming the whole season."