Joe Burrow will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow won’t play this season due to a wrist injury and will soon need another signal caller to team up with rookie Jake Browning.
NFL insider Matt Lombardo of Fan Buzz suggested New England Patriots rookie Malik Cunningham as an option for the Bengals. Cunningham followed in the footsteps of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson at Louisville, where they played together for one season in 2017.
The Bengals were losing 34-20 to Jackson and the Ravens when Burrow’s season abruptly ended on Thursday, November 16th. Cunningham’s athleticism intrigued the Patriots and could be a viable option for the Bengals.
“Malik Cunningham could be the Bengals’ most upside option, but could prove the hardest to acquire after the Patriots benched Mac Jones during a loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10,” Lombardo wrote.
“Cunningham offers tantalizing athleticism as a dual-threat quarterback who can create opportunities for running back Joe Mixon in the run game if he can use his arm strength to get the football to the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins” the vertical Passing game,” Lombardo added.
“However, Cunningham needs to improve a lot as a passer,” Lombardo continued. “Still, after finishing as the No. 3 most athletic quarterback at the 2023 Combine, Cunningham could be an intriguing option to add a new facet to Cincinnati’s offense.”
Malik Cunningham has had a roller coaster ride with the Patriots so far
While Cunningham could take on a larger role with New England, he remains on the practice squad despite a roller coaster ride in Foxborough. Cunningham impressed in training camp and preseason after signing as an undrafted free agent, but the team cut him before the season.
New England then signed him to the practice squad and promoted him to the active roster with a three-year contract for $2.72 million. Cunningham appeared briefly in the Patriots’ 21-17 loss in Week 6 to the Las Vegas Raiders and has not played since. The Patriots cut him again and he rejoined the organization on the practice squad.
“I mean, look, he’s a young player, so he’s making progress,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters about Cunningham in October.
Cincinnati could sign Cunningham directly from the Patriots’ practice squad in the near future. New England and the Bengals are not facing each other this season, so there are no barriers for Cincinnati to make the move.
Lamar Jackson shows support for Malik Cunningham
Cunningham would have big shoes to fill if he played in Burrow’s place, but that’s exactly what he did at Louisville right after Jackson left for the NFL. In 2022, Cunningham broke Jackson’s career touchdown record with a 119th score.
Jackson has shown his support to Cunningham repeatedly throughout his career. That includes a social media shoutout after the record was broken and another after Cunningham’s first preseason touchdown with the Patriots.
“Congratulations bro. I already knew you were going to do it, I can’t wait to see you do it,” Jackson said in a 2022 video. “Easy it man, Card Nation!”
For Jackson’s Patriots touchdown run, the former MVP posted “broski” with gas emojis on X, formerly Twitter.
Matthew Davis covers the NFL for Heavy.com, focusing on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. He has also covered prep sports in Minnesota as a writer for the StarTribune since 2016. More about Matthew Davis