Memorable Sunday For All Wrong Reasons For Rookie Quarterbacks

Week 11 in the NFL had its fair share of drama and exciting finishes, all the way through the end of the Sunday slate. The Kansas City Chiefs closed out the card with a last-minute touchdown to seal a very exciting seesaw battle with the Raiders on Sunday night in Las Vegas.

Elsewhere, a Packers turnover led to a game-winning field goal for the Colts in overtime, and the Cowboys won outright against the Vikings as seven-point underdogs to create a further logjam in the NFC East.

That was just a sample of the Sunday excitement, but the headlines of the weekend might belong to a pair of rookie quarterbacks who will remember Week 11 for all the wrong reasons.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

The top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft left Sunday's game in Washington with a serious leg injury that will cost him the rest of his rookie season. Burrow was converged on by two Washington defenders in the third quarter of the Bengals' loss and had to be carted off the field.

The young quarterback tweeted that he would be out for the rest of the year, though tests were still being conducted Monday to determine the exact severity and recovery time.

Burrow was in contention to win Rookie of the Year, ranking fourth in NFL history for the most passing yards in a player's first 10 games. Three weeks ago, he was on pace to break Andrew Luck's rookie passing record of 4,374 yards, but now Cincinnati turns the reins over to Ryan Finley, presumably for the rest of the season.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Burrow was named the Bengals' starter from day one, opening the season under center for a franchise in desperate need of a new face. For Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth pick in the 2020 Draft, his first starting opportunity didn't come until Week 8.

The Dolphins gave the rookie extra prep time, as the decision to make the switch from Ryan Fitzpatrick came during the team's bye week following a shutout win of the Jets in Week 6. Tagovailoa would win the first three starts of his NFL career but ran into adversity in Denver on Sunday.

The lefty was benched in favor of Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter during the team's loss to the Broncos, but head coach Brian Flores says Tagovailoa will remain the starter when they visit the Jets next Sunday. Fitzpatrick also did his best to dismiss any quarterback controversy narratives.

"It's very clear that this is Tua's team. Tua is going to continue to get better and grow," said Fitzpatrick. "For me, my defined role is whatever the team needs out of me.

"There's no controversy. This is his team. He's going to lead this team and continue to lead the team. We just got to pull in the right direction and get everybody to continue to get better."

Other Notable QB Notes

Two other quarterbacks made their first NFL starts under center on Sunday, with both leading their teams to convincing victories. P.J. Walker and the Panthers shut out the Lions, 20-0, while Taysom Hill's two rushing touchdowns led the Saints to a 24-9 win over the Falcons in New Orleans.