It’s Jake Browning’s time to shine.
With the Cincinnati Bengals announcing starting quarterback Joe Burrow being done for the season with a wrist injury on Friday, the team is turning to Browning.
The 27-year-old stepping in after Burrow exited Thursday night’s 34-20 loss to the Ravens in the second quarter, completing eight of 14 pass attempts for 68 yards and a touchdown.
“Jake’s worked for his opportunity his entire life. He’s prepared the right way, he’s in the building as much as anybody on this team — waiting for moment’s like this,” coach Zac Taylor told reporters. “We are really proud of the way he went in there with a calm attitude and was able to execute the plan and give us a chance to move the ball and score some points.”
The Folsom, Calif. native spent his college career at the University of Washington, where he led the Huskies to a Pac-12 conference championship in 2016, their first since 2000.
He also won the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year award, and finished sixth in Heisman award voting that same season.
Despite his collegiate success, Browning went undrafted in 2019, signing with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent.
After a series of stints on the Vikings’ practice squad, Browning was ultimately waived by Minnesota in August of 2021.
Less than a week later, Cincinnati signed Browning to their practice squad, where he spent the entirety of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
This season, Browning won the backup quarterback position for the Bengals, ultimately beating out Trevor Siemian during the preseason.
Thursday’s game against Baltimore was Browning’s first NFL game where he played significant minutes.
With reality setting in that Burrow will not see any action until next season, Taylor remains high on Browning the effect his new starter can have.
“That’s a big part of the battle, playing quarterback, is, you’ve put in the work to have confidence in yourself — it’s not just false hope, it’s not just, you get out there and put on a brave face to try and trick everyone into thinking you know what you’re doing — Jake has done that through his actions and he’s shown that through his ability to bond with everyone in the locker room,” Taylor said. “Guys think really highly of Jake, and respect the work he puts in.”
The Bengals face the Pittsburgh Steelers Nov. 26, where Browning will likely start his first game in the NFL.