NFL QB Injuries 2023: List of quarterbacks who suffered season-ending blows feat. Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and more

Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars
Joe Burrow on the sidelines after tearing a carpal ligament

2023 is not a good year to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, as Joe Burrow can attest.

So far, at least five QB1s have suffered debilitating injuries that may have taken them out of the rest of the season. The Jacksonville Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence is feared to have joined that group after left tackle Walker Little inadvertently stepped on his right ankle during their game against, ironically enough, Burrow's Cincinnati Bengals, who used Jake Browning.

But who are the rest? Here's a list that will examine them, as well as when they can realistically return:

List of NFL quarterbacks who suffered season-ending blows

#7 Justin Herbert

Broncos Chargers Football
Broncos Chargers Football

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is the latest in a long line of NFL stars suffering season-ending injuries.

Herbert suffered a right index finger injury against the Denver Broncos in Week 14. He exited the game in the second quarter, with Easton Stick taking his place under center.

While there was minor optimism that Herbert would return in time for Week 16, the Chargers QB has elected to undergo season-ending surgery.

With Herbert's season drawn to a close, questions will also be raised on head coach Brandon Staley, with the franchise failing to impress even on the defensive front. LA brought Kellen Moore on board from the Dallas Cowboys, a move that was expected to unlock Herbert's potential. Chargers fans haven't witnessed that happening just yet.

The Chargers, however, are a cash-strapped franchise, something ownership will have to consider if they choose to fire Brandon Staley.

#6. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers watches the New York Jets-Atlanta Falcons game
Aaron Rodgers watches the New York Jets-Atlanta Falcons game

Remember when Aaron Rodgers was heavily favored to turn the New York Jets into Super Bowl contenders? Unfortunately for the Jets, those dreams died right in the first quarter of his very first game with them, after he tore his Achilles tendon on a low hit by Buffalo Bills linebacker Leonard Floyd on Monday Night Football, potentially putting him on the shelf for at least a year.

But not one to be deterred, Rodgers underwent a revolutionary procedure called "speed bridge". He has been spotted practicing, right when Gang Green is still somehow in the playoff picture.

#5. Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones v Las Vegas Raiders
Daniel Jones v Las Vegas Raiders

During a 30-6 loss at the Las Vegas Raiders last month, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones hurt his knee in his first game back. The initial injury occurred in the first quarter, but it was in the second when its severity first manifested: as he dropped back to pass, he suddenly fell to the ground.

After undergoing surgery, he may not be back for at least 8-10 months, in his own words. In the meantime, Big Blue is floundering under Tommy DeVito.

#4. Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins warms up v Green Bay Packers
Kirk Cousins warms up v Green Bay Packers

After winning the NFC North in 2022, the Minnesota Vikings were supposed to continue that momentum heading into 2023, but a 1-4 start put them on the back foot.

Five straight wins eventually helped to restore some momentum, but during that streak, Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles in the fourth quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers. His recovery time is expected to be between 9 and 12 months, as he did not opt for the "speed bridge".

#3. Anthony Richardson

Anthony Richardson before the game vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Anthony Richardson before the game vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Indianapolis Colts are back in playoff contention, but that may be despite Anthony Richardson, not because of him.

The No. 4 pick of 2023 was expected to lead a resurgence, and then he sprained his AC joint in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. An intensive deliberation soon followed after which he decided to undergo shoulder surgery.

But the good news is that Richardson will not have to wait long before he gets to throw passes again: six months is the minimum recovery time for his injury. In the meantime, Gardner Minshew has been doing a stellar job keeping the team afloat.

#2. Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson vs the Pittsburgh Steelers
Deshaun Watson vs the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Cleveland Browns' win at the Baltimore Ravens came at a huge cost: Deshaun Watson.

The former Houston Texan had been sporting a hurting shoulder throughout the season, but on that day that problem finally became unavoidable. He broke a bone in his right shoulder in the first half but played on regardless.

Three days later, the Browns announced that he would have surgery. Watson expects to be cleared before the 2024 season begins, so his rehab may last anywhere between six and nine months.

#1. Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow vs the Pittsburgh Steelers
Joe Burrow vs the Pittsburgh Steelers

This was not how 2023 was supposed to go for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Coming off consecutive AFC North titles, they were expected to reassert their dominance in one of the NFL's deepest divisions, especially after their starting quarterback became the league's highest-paid player. Unfortunately, a 1-3 start doomed them.

They managed to find their way back with a four-win streak, but in a Week 10 loss at the Baltimore Ravens, Burrow tore a ligament in his right wrist during the first, depriving him of his passing ability. The recovery process can be from six to 12 months, depending on how fast the injury heals.

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Edited by Veer Badani