The worst-case scenario unfolded for the Bengals Sunday early in the third quarter when rookie quarterback Joe Burrow grabbed his left knee in anguish following a hit by Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and was carted off the field with what looked to be a very serious knee injury.
With the FedEx clock frozen at 11:35 and the Bengals leading, 9-7, the entire Bengals team, as well as Washington defensive end Chase Young, his former Ohio State teammate, gathered, around the cart where Burrow sat before he was driven into the visitors' locker room.
Burrow, on pace to break the NFL rookie passing record and on fire with 203 yards Sunday while leading a 250-yard effort, was hit as he stepped up in the pocket to throw deep down the right sideline to wide receiver Tyler Boyd on a third-and-two pass that was broken up.
The Bengals declared Burrow out after an injury that appeared to come when Allen got tangled up and caved the outside of Burrow's knee.
They turned to backup Ryan Finley, the only quarterback dressed who had taken just one snap this season.