Cincinnati Bengals are moving forward without quarterback Joe Burrow, who left the Week 11 game against the Baltimore Ravens with a season-ending wrist injury. Taking over for the injured star is a player most people -- football fans or not -- are not familiar with.
So who is the signal-caller tasked with backing up the highest-paid player in the league?
Jake Browning, who had never completed a pass in the NFL before coming in to replace Burrow in Week 11, is now being tasked with saving the Bengals' season. The 27-year-old will make his first-ever NFL start on Sunday when the Bengals host the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers. He will be the 50th different quarterback to start a game this season and joins a to make their first career start.
On "Thursday Night Football" last week, Browning went 8 for 15 with 68 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Browning's career began back in 2019 when the Minnesota Vikings signed him as an undrafted free agent out of University of Washington and was immediately signed to the practice squad.
He was waived by the Vikings during the 2020 season during final roster cuts. He signed a reserve/future contract in January 2021 and in August 2021 was waived.
He joined the Bengals in 2021 when he was signed to their practice squad. He signed a reserve/future contract in February 2022, was waived in August 2022, signed to the practice squad the next day, then signed a reserve/future contract in January 2023.
The backup job was between Trevor Siemian and Browning and it was the latter who came out on top. His first regular-season appearance came in the Bengals' first game of the 2023 season against the Cleveland Browns. His one pass attempt in that game was incomplete.
In college, he played 54 games with the Washington Huskies, starting all of them, with a record of 39-15. He had 958 completions on 1,484 attempts with 12,296 yards, 94 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. He also had 16 rushing touchdowns.
He was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2016 and was first-team All-Pac-12 in the same year.