There is some really relevant news for NFL fans on Friday. Joe Burrow, the star quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, is expected to be out for several weeks. Burrow suffered a calf strain at practice on Thursday, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN. The Joe Burrow injury required that he be carted off of the field.

Calf strains, which can be differentiated from calf tears, have a large range in terms of severity. One online medical source says “it usually takes up to three days for a pulled calf muscle to start feeling better.” The same source says for “severe cases that don’t require surgery a full recovery may take up to six weeks” (Nola Sports Medicine/no author list/no date given). With that information and some talk that Burrow might miss the start of Cincinnati’s season, it follows that we’re looking at a severe calf strain.

Joe Burrow Injury: Zac Taylor Speaks

This injury will create tension for the entire Cincinnati Bengals organization. That tension is palpable in Zac Taylor’s recent interview. He addressed the injury with the media.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns: Week 1

The Cincinnati Bengals will start the season on September 10th, 2023. They will face the Cleveland Browns in the early set on Sunday of Week 1. Several weeks for Burrow, at this point, could mean that he misses the first game. Accordingly, there are betting implications for the injury.

Burrow is currently the second favorite to win the NFL MVP with bet365 at +650. You would expect these odds to drift over the next several weeks. He also has various lines pertaining to his totals. Bettors looking at Burrow would want to bet against his totals right now, where still available (these markets are subject to being pulled). There is also the game against Cleveland to look at.

The Cincinnati Bengals are favored to defeat the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 but just at -1.0 as of late Friday. If Cincinnati ends up going with their QB2, Trevor Siemian, then you would expect Cincinnati to drift to an underdog.

Siemian, at the age of 31, has appeared in just 35 career games. He appeared in two games last season but only one of them involved a significant amount of snaps. He had a passer rating of 75.3 and a QBR of 27.0, weak numbers, in a loss to the New York Jets.

There are teams in the NFL with a half-decent backup QB but Cincinnati isn’t one of them. The QB3 is Jake Browning, who has never appeared in an NFL game. You would think that the starting position for Week 1 is very much up for grabs in training camp and during the preseason games.

At this point, a handicap point on the Cleveland Browns looms large. The game could end up being Deshaun Watson vs Jake Brown/Trevor Siemian.

Recommendation: Cleveland +1.0 in Week 1 against Cincinnati at -110 (10/11).

Further reading: Dalvin Cook favored to sign with the Jets