rewrite this title Bengals’ Joe Burrow joins Andrew Luck in unfortunate company

Joe Burrow’s tough first four years with the Bengals was further highlighted as he joins Andrew Luck in this troubling sack trend.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has had a rough 2023 season. Burrow has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, leaving the Bengals reeling and looking for answers. Cincinnati is 5-5 through Week 11, and their playoff hopes don’t have much life without Burrow under center. The quarterback’s injury luck through his young career has been very unfortunate, and it’s a similar story to that of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Joe Burrow and Andrew Luck share a lot in common, which isn’t great news for Bengals fans. Burrow has had some incredible seasons, and some horrific seasons due to injury, just like Andrew Luck had.

Burrow had a season-ending knee injury in his rookie season, then made the Super Bowl the next year. Last season the Bengals made the AFC Championship game, and this year he had another season-ending injury.

Looking at Luck, he led the Colts to the playoffs in his first three seasons, including the AFC Championship game in 2014. In the next few years, Luck was plagued with injuries and the Colts missed the playoffs. In the final year of Luck’s great, but short career, he led the team to one last playoff appearance. 

Burrow, Luck’s sack issue

Both Joe Burrow and Andrew Luck dealt with injuries at an upsetting rate in their very young and successful careers. Both young QBs lead their teams on great runs when healthy, but their teams struggled mightily without them on the field. What’s the unfortunate company the two players share? They get sacked at an alarming rate.

Luck was sacked 115 times in his first four seasons with the Colts. That’s over two sacks taken a game. For Burrow, the stat is even worse. Burrow’s been taken down 148 times through his first four seasons with the Bengals. That’s almost three times (2.84) per game.

It’d be unfair to blame their injuries completely on their respective offensive lines, but getting sacked multiple times per game played isn’t exactly a recipe for durability. Burrow and Luck were forced to play quarterback with extremely little help from their offensive lines early in their careers. Whether it be shoulder problems, rib injuries, or even concussions, Burrow and Luck had their share of very rough times at the start of their careers. 

For Joe Burrow, being out for the season at least means he can come back fresh in 2024. The Bengals’ championship window is still alive, but it is slowly getting smaller as each season progresses. It’s no secret they’ll need a healthy Burrow under center if they want to win it all. Cincinnati should look to bolster their offensive line to not only protect Burrow from another injury, but also to buy him some time to get the ball to his fantastic receiving core. 

It may be jumping the gun to completely compare the careers of Burrow and Luck, but after Burrow joined Luck in this unfortunately bad company, some comparison is fair. Both quarterbacks are/were exceptional right from the start of their careers. While Burrow has come closer to a Super Bowl ring than Luck did, both proved that they were stars when healthy.

The Bengals will have to wait until next season to start anew with Joe Burrow as quarterback. For now, Burrow will look to rehab and come back next year with another shot at a Super Bowl for Cincinnati. 

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