The Cincinnati Bengals always knew who their starting quarterback was going to be in 2023. The question at the position was: Who will back up Joe Burrow?
Originally, the competition was between journeyman Trevor Siemian and former UDFA Jake Browning. XFL signal-caller Reid Sinnett briefly got in on the action too but when push came to shove, the Bengals released Siemian, waived Sinnett, and opted to keep Browning as the backup.
Browning outplayed Siemian in the preseason but fans didn't necessarily feel great about having him behind Burrow if Joey Franchise were to get injured or have to miss an extended period of time. On Wednesday morning, they signed former Panther and Cowboy Will Grier to their practice squad.
This now gives the Bengals three quarterbacks on their roster.
Bengals QB depth chart
Starter: Joe Burrow
While Burrow did suffer a calf strain on just the second day of training camp, the hope is that he'll be ready to go by Week 1. The only game he's missed since his rookie year was when the Bengals sat all of their starters in the 2021 season finale due to having their playoff spot locked in. Otherwise, he's played through injuries and pain.
Burrow is entering a crucial year and time is running out for the Bengals to capitalize on having a signal-caller on a rookie deal and their other big stars still also on cheap contracts. Hopefully, Burrow puts together an MVP-caliber season and runs the table, winning MVP, the Super Bowl, and Super Bowl MVP.
Backup: Jake Browning
Practice Squad: Will Grier
Browning will probably be the backup initially since he's spent the past two years with the team and knows the offense. Grier just joined them so it'll take time for him to learn the system and the play calls. Browning has never appeared in a regular season game and Grier has not appeared in one since he was a rookie in 2019.
Backup quarterbacks are very important in the NFL because if your starter goes down, your season could be sunk if the backup can't come in and lead the offense. While the Bengals are one of those teams whose chances to win a Super Bowl decrease drastically if their quarterback goes down, there are still guys out there who can do enough to not lose you games and that's what the Bengals hope they have with Browning and Grier.