Any football fans who have tuned into any NFL programming in the last week know that Joe Burrow is dealing with a calf injury. It is the biggest storyline in the league right now and has been cited as the reason why Burrow has struggled to start the 2023 season. This naturally has LA Chargers fans outraged after the treatment that Justin Herbert got in 2022.
There is no denying that the calf injury has had an impact on Burrow's game. The injury has essentially killed Cincinnati's play-action pass game as Burrow does not have much mobility to climb out of the pocket. But this injury is receiving the kind of attention that Herbert never received in 2022.
I mean just look at the flowers that Burrow is getting on social media for gutting it out and playing for the Bengals on Monday Night Football. Even when he doesn't play well he gets all the credit, at least from RG3.
Burrow finished with 259 yards on 26 of 49 passing with no touchdowns and one interception. Burrow has completed 55.4% of his passes with two touchdowns, two interceptions and an average of 187.7 yards per game this season.
Bengals' Joe Burrow is getting all the excuses that Chargers' Justin Herbert should have gotten last season
Yes, it is tough to play quarterback in the National Football League with a lower-body injury. But one would argue that it is even tougher to play quarterback in the National Football League when you fracture rib cartilage in Week 2 and have to play through it without ever missing a game.
Not only did Herbert play through busted ribs without missing a game in 2022 but he also had an undisclosed labrum injury that he had surgery on right when the season ended. This man had two injuries that most other quarterbacks would use as excuses for why they are not playing well.
Nobody in the national media ever made excuses for Herbert. Instead, the moment he started not playing at an elite level he had people in the media coming at him and calling him a social media quarterback without realizing the scope of the situation.
And even then, Herbert's worst year as a starter was still far better than Burrow has been playing so far with his calf injury. In fact, Herbert's 2022 numbers were nearly identical to Burrow's numbers. The two quarterbacks finished within 0.1% of each other in completion percentage, 0.9 yards per game within each other, and 0.6 QBR within each other.
Just imagine if Burrow has to deal with the same injuries to his weapons that Herbert had to deal with last season as well. If Burrow was throwing to Michael Bandy and DeAndre Carter it would be a national story. When Herbert was, Chargers fans were told to stop making excuses.