Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor
On QB Joe Burrow injury:
"I don't have any final update yet."
On his reaction after Burrow's injury:
"I just told them that we needed to come out with some emotion. That's an injury to a team leader that can take the wind out of your sails and we wanted to try to recapture some energy that we had going into halftime. Unfortunately, they went down and scored a touchdown and we had a three and out, so we didn't get that done"
On if he is bracing for a season-ending injury:
"We will just wait for a final update before I make any guesses."
On if Burrow is staying here or flying back with the team:
"I don't know yet. I just got off the field and talked with the team. I will be getting more information after this."
On what he saw on Burrow's injury:
"Probably the toughest view that I've got, it's a backed-up area. That's the worst view I have on the field. So, I really can't say."
On how difficult it is to see Burrow go down:
"It's not fun. He's making improvements every week and we were getting the offense headed in a direction that we thought was exciting. And I really felt like in that first half, we missed some opportunities for points, it was unbelievable. We felt like we were doing a great job moving the ball, and only came up with nine points somehow. And we felt really good coming out of the second half and then to lose your quarterback is tough, but that's the way it goes and next man up is [Ryan] Finley. Finley came up and we got to help him, I have to put him in some better situations there to give him some confidence going early, and we just didn't get it done all the way around."
On how much of the game plan was altered when Burrow went down:
"Well, Ryan's always done a good job preparing himself, and you know the life of a backup quarterback in this league is that they don't get reps on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You got to find a way to simulate your own reps and scout team and off to the side or in special teams and he's always done a good job of that, so again we just didn't get it done as a team in the second half."
On if QB Ryan Finley had a lot of reps before this game:
"He didn't get as much as you would normally get for your number two quarterback, but it's where we're at right now. And so then again, we've just got to handle the situation that's been dealt to us and make the most of it and go get ready to win a game next weekend."
On if he felt like he was rolling the dice this season starting Burrow:
"No, because he showed that he was mentally ready to go right from the get-go, even from the summer Zoom meetings. For those of you that were at practice, that felt the energy of the team when he was our quarterback moving the ball. You felt like we could have a lot of success and he's given us a chance and, most of all these games he's done what he could do in the fourth quarter which is drive us down and sometimes we just haven't gotten the win, but got a lot of belief in Joe and whenever he's back we'll be ready for him to come back."
On the offensive line:
"We had no sacks in first half out there. I think the last couple of weeks the lines done a pretty good job keeping people off him. I know we had four against Pittsburgh last week, two of them at the end of the half. I think they've been moving in the right direction. So, the second half here today these guys [Washington Football] teed off. They got a two-score lead, they've got a great front. They got five guys that can really rush the passer, they got a two-score lead there against the backup quarterback and teed off and that's where they got their pressures there."
On starting Hakeem Adeniji and then switching back to Bobby Hart
"Bobby was coming off an injury the last couple weeks. We felt like Hakeem had done a good job and just decided to put him out there at right tackle today, but again Bobby's done everything you can to get yourself back in shape to play football for us."
On if he could've done anything different on the play where Burrow got injured or if it was a freak accident:
"I mean he got the ball clean, so it's hard for me to see when that hit came. But I know at the point when he made the throw, he was clean."
On his message to the team in the locker room after the game and Burrow's injury:
"That's really just for us. It is tough. We felt like we had a lot of momentum coming out of halftime, we expected to win the football game, we didn't. There's a lot of disappointment but we expect our guys to handle it the right way."
On why he went back to Bobby Hart:
"Just a decision we made there late in the game."
On what the objective is for this year now that Burrow is not on the field and can't develop until he is healthy again:
"The objective is to win and that's been the objective since day one, regardless of who's playing on the field for you. We got to do more to win football games. We have not won enough. I tell these guys, I love going to battle with these guys. I really do because they give us everything they got. Today was a disappointing day for all of us, but to answer your question the goal is to go win football games next week."
On if he could have done more to protect Burrow over the course of the season:
"It's hard for me because all we can do is make progress as this season goes and we gave up a lot of pressure early in the season. In these last couple weeks, our guys have done a great job of keeping people off Joe, he's had a great pocket. He did not have a sack in the first half, in the hit as I saw it, wasn't when he had the ball in his hand. And people keep talking about the offensive line without it seemingly watching the film from last four weeks. And so, again, those guys have done a good job. It's been a revolving door of players; we're doing a great job. Joe's done a good job moving us down the field, and we felt like we're making a lot of progress over the last five weeks, and we're not going to apologize for any of that."
On if this is it for Burrow can he reflect on what he did in such a challenging rookie year:
"He handled everything like a professional from day one, and to be voted a captain just speaks to everything that you need to know about the guy. The players have responded to him, the coaches have responded to him, the city has responded to him and all that is equally as important. He energizes this team and he's been a tremendous player. Everything we'd hoped he would be, and we'll get him back at some point. We don't know when that is, but for now we got to transform that energy and put it somewhere else in this team, again we got plenty of guys we can rely on. I thought our defense showed us some really good stuff today in some areas. We didn't do enough in the second half on offense, so the defense got us some stops. But you got to transfer that and go down and score points and we're getting that momentum, but we didn't do that today. And so again, we weren't solid enough in all three phases to come out of here with a win."
On if both teams coming off of the sideline to share well wishes with Burrow shows his character:
"It sure does. There is a tremendous amount of respect for him and it was unfortunate to see what happened."
Ryan Finley, Quarterback
On being thrown into this game:
"Yeah, I mean, obviously, you know you said it, it's been a strange year. Obviously my thoughts right now are with Joe [Burrow] and just hoping he's going to be okay and have a speedy recovery. That was tough to see. We've grown close so that stuff's hard to see but you know I got to be ready. That's my role, so I got a week to get a lot better and be able to put this team in a position to win football games so it's kind of where my mind's at."
On taking snaps with the first team:
"Yeah, I mean it doesn't matter. I mean, the theme of the day, I do what I need to do to get ready and you know, this week in practice will be good, getting reps with those guys and getting timing and getting some confidence, but you got to get ready for the starting quarterback each week. So obviously Joe [Burrow]'s a special talent, it's been his show but I'm ready for my role and I'm ready to play well."
On if he's talked to Joe Burrow yet:
"Yeah, I talked with him, I sat with them for a little bit. I didn't really have many words. I didn't know what to say. I hope he recovers very soon because he's a hell of a player and it's been a lot of fun watching him play this first half of the season, so excited for when he's back. I think he was doing well. I think that's just who Joe [Burrow] is. I think he's a competitor. I think he's going to be one of those guys that will be back before he's supposed to, whenever that is."
On Joe Burrow's impact on the team:
"I think there's just something about it, about him. I think we can just all feel it. I think our offense has had a lot of success early with him and we kind of, just the energy kind of fed off that, so I thought we were, you know, as an offense, these past four or five games. I thought there's been some pretty special moments and that's largely due to Joe [Burrow]."
On finishing the game after Joe Burrow's injury:
"Yeah, I mean, I think guys were a little shook, to be honest. But, you know we have to roll. We've got the Giants next week and we got a lot of games left in the season. Many that we feel like we can win. So it's time to move on and it's time to prepare harder than we have, and even more than we have, and try to keep getting some wins."
On the experience with preparation that he got starting three games last season:
"Yeah, I think any game, any week of preparation where you are the starter is very helpful so, just kind of navigating a week of practice, being the starter and kind of what's expected of you preparation wise. That was something that I've learned and learned in those three games where I played last year, and I'll lean on that now. But, you know, not much will change, as far as preparation goes for this week because Joe [Burrow] did a really good job with that. So kind of same old same old just get back to work and get our get our guys ready."
On being the only active quarterback:
"Yeah, I'm confident that I need to play well and I'm going to play well. Obviously you know Brandon [Allen] will come up but I got to put our team in a position to win games."
On what he has learned from Burrow:
"There's a lot of things. Too many for a single answer right now, but his mindset towards the game is different. You can play for a long time and still have stuff to learn. But how he thinks, how he approaches the game is very positive and confident and it's awesome to learn. Those are all things I've learned from him and I'll lean on some of that stuff going forward."
On the biggest things he's learned this offseason:
"Just getting stronger. Just kind of my main thing is getting physically stronger. Just thinking about today's game, and the few drives that I was in, and just got to make some throws. Got to be a little bit more accurate, get my lower body activated a little bit and get the speed of the game. It's been a long time since I've played with the speed of the game, so I've got to find a way to activate that lower body and speed everything up and get a little bit more aggressive and intentional with throwing the ball."
Game action photos of Week 11 as the Bengals face the Washington Football Team.