CINCINNATI – Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen will take over from injured Joe Burrow as the squad’s starter, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
Allen, who has spent the entire season on the practice squad, will make his fourth career NFL start on Sunday against the New York Giants. The other three starts were with the Denver Broncos last season.
Sixth-round pick in the 2016 draft, Allen was picked by the Bengals during training camp as an emergency option due to COVID-19. He was part of the team’s last preseason cuts and has been added to the practice squad.
NFL Network first reported that Allen would start for the Bengals.
After the Bengals selected Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 Draft, they opted not to add another quarterback to the 53-man roster. Bengals coach Zac Taylor said on Monday Allen filled that void due to promotions allowed by the practice team this season.
“Whether he’s on the active roster or on the practice squad doesn’t really matter,” Taylor said. “He’s always in the room doing that stuff.
Allen and Taylor know each other well. The two were with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and 2018, when Taylor was an assistant coach. Taylor noted Allen’s experience with the squad system when discussing quarterback options for the remainder of the season.
Burrow was placed in the injured reserve on Monday after tearing several ligaments in his left knee in last weekend’s 20-9 loss to Washington. A timeline for Burrow’s surgery or his eventual return is still unknown.
Allen earns the Cincinnati starter title ahead of sophomore quarterback Ryan Finley. Finley, a 2019 fourth-round pick, started three games in 2019 as the Bengals weighed their quarterback options ahead of the 2020 draft.
Finley has been the team’s main backup quarterback for the past two seasons, but has been 3 of 10 passing for 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 prepare to go. There are things that I wish I could put him in a better position to get a better opportunity, but the bottom line is that we haven’t and haven’t been in. able to do that. points there in the second half to help us win. “