Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is the first high-profile player to confirm that he’s going to skip Week 18 to get ready for the playoffs.
Burrow told reporters today that he will not play on Sunday against the Browns.
Although Burrow tweaked his knee at the end of last week’s win over the Chiefs, he said the knee has nothing to do with it. He’s simply trying to stay fresh for the playoffs.
Technically, the Bengals do have something to play for this week, as they’re not out of contention for the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the bye week that comes with it. But for the Bengals to win the No. 1 seed, they would need to beat the Browns and have the Titans lose to the Texans and have the Chiefs lose to the Broncos and have the Bills beat the Jets. It’s very unlikely that all those things will happen.
And so the Bengals will wisely have Burrow sit this one out, and make sure he’s good to go when they’re hosting a playoff game a week later.