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NFL investigation finds Bengals in compliance with injury report policy

The NFL has determined that the Cincinnati Bengals were in full compliance with the league’s injury report policy after quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a wrist injury against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 16.

After a full investigation, the league said there were no violations by the Bengals. The NFL reviewed all medical records, studied practice video from the week ahead of the Thursday night loss to the Ravens and interviewed relevant medical personnel and Burrow, according to CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones.

Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury is what sparked the investigation. The 26-year-old quarterback was spotted getting off the team plane in Baltimore with a black brace on his wrist. The Bengals removed their team footage of Burrow deplaning after posting it, fueling further speculation prior to the game. Burrow was not listed on the injury report leading up to the game.

Joe Burrow was not on the injury report prior to the game against the Ravens, prompting the NFL's investigation.
Joe Burrow was not on the injury report prior to the game against the Ravens, prompting the NFL's investigation.

Following the game when the team announced Burrow would undergo surgery, there were plenty of questions about if he was injured coming into the game because of the brace he was spotted wearing.

Burrow insisted the injury that ended his fourth season in the NFL had nothing to do with why he was wearing a compression sleeve on his wrist prior to the game. He said it’s not “uncommon for guys to wear a compression sleeve on a plane because when you go up to that altitude, things can swell up.”

The NFL has a strict injury report policy in place. All 32 teams are mandated to release a practice report and it is to provide an accurate description of a player’s injury status and his level of participation during the practice week. All players who have reportable injuries must be listed on the practice report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game.

Violations of this rule are taken very seriously. If the Bengals were to have been found in violation, the franchise would have been handed a hefty fine and could have lost a draft pick.

In 2019, the NFL fined the Pittsburgh Steelers $75,000 and coach Mike Tomlin $25,000 for violating the injury report policy by not accurately listing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for one practice report before their game against the Seattle Seahawks.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: NFL finds Bengals didn't break rules with Joe Burrow injury