CINCINNATI – Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen takes over for the injured Joe Burrow as the team’s starter, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
Allen, who has spent the entire season on the training team, starts his fourth NFL career NFL Sunday against the New York Giants. The other three starts came with the Denver Broncos last season.
A sixth round of the 2016 draft, Allen was picked up by the Bengals during training camp as a contingency option due to COVID-19. He was among the team’s last cuts in the preseason and was added to the training team.
The NFL Network first reported that Allen would start for the Bengals.
After the Bengals selected Burrow with the top overall pick in the 2020 draft, they chose not to add another quarterback to the 53-man roster. On Monday, Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Allen filled that void due to the allowed promotions from the training team this season.
“Whether he’s on the active list or the training team, it doesn’t really matter,” Taylor said. “He’s still in the room doing that kind of thing.”
Allen and Taylor are familiar with each other. The two were with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and 2018 when Taylor was assistant coach. Taylor noted Allen’s experience with the team’s system as he discussed quarterback options for the rest of the season.
Burrow was placed on injured reserve Monday after tearing several ligaments in his left knee during last weekend’s 20-9 loss to Washington. A timetable for Burrow’s surgery or possible return is still unknown.
Allen earns the nod as Cincinnatis starts over second-year quarterback Ryan Finley. Finley, a fourth-round pick in 2019, started three games in 2019 as the Bengals evaluated their quarterback opportunities before the 2020 draft.
Finley served as the team’s primary backup quarterback the past two seasons, but passed 3-of-10 in 30 yards against Washington.
“He’s in a tough spot there in the second half, but that’s life as a backup quarterback,” Taylor said. “You have to get ready to go. There are things that I wish I could put him in a better position to get a better chance, but the bottom line is that we did not get it done and not was able to get any points there in the second half to help us win. “