Beēngals quarterback Joe Burrow joined Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson this week in finding out their seasons were over due to injury, sending ripples through the AFC Playoff Picture.
On Wednesday, the Browns revealed that quarterback Deshaun Watson would miss the remainder of the season with a fracture to the glenoid in his throwing shoulder.
Then, Bengals star signal-caller, Joe Burrow left his team’s Thursday night matchup with the Ravens due to a wrist injury and joined Watson with the same fate.
The unfortunate news for both of the division foes is likely to have major implications on the AFC North, but also how the the entire AFC Playoff Picture takes shape.
Starting in the North, Baltimore leads the pack right now at 8-3, following their 34-20 win over Cincinnati on Thursday. But Pittsburgh and Cleveland are breathing down their necks at the moment.
With the Browns and Steelers set to square off Sunday, more shifting could be in the works. If Cleveland pulls off a win with rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson quarterbacking the offense, they’d sit just a game behind the Ravens – who haven’t yet had a bye week – at 7-3, with a 3-2 record in the division.
The record within the division is an important element to keep in mind because that would be used as a second tie breaker after head-to-head matchups, which is essentially a non-factor when it comes to Baltimore and Cleveland since they split their season series.