The Cleveland Browns host the second part of the Battle of Ohio in Week 18.
The Browns defeated the Bengals in Week 9 by the score of 41-16.
In Week 17 after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bengals were crowned the AFC North champions.
Many wondered how Coach Zac Taylor would handle this Week 18 game.
Would he rest the starters or play them?
Our first clue was revealed today with quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow’s Week 18 Status
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 5, 2022
Burrow will rest in Week 18.
He is available to play if needed.
The plan to not use Burrow is more about getting ready for the playoffs than any lingering effects from his knee getting banged up in the Chiefs game.
As Burrow describes it, his knee is “sore but not bad.”
Joe Burrow does not expect to pay Sunday vs Cleveland. Says his knee is "sore, but not bad. I could play if I need to."
— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) January 5, 2022
Joe Mixon Latest Bengal Added To Reserve/COVID-19 List
It is unclear who will be in this game for the Bengals.
Given their desire to rest for the playoffs plus a growing list of players being added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the starters are yet to be determined.
Running back Joe Mixon is the latest to be added to the list; he tested positive on Wednesday and will not play on Sunday.
Bengals’ Pro-Bowl RB Joe Mixon tested positive today for COVID-19 and will be out Sunday vs. the Browns, per league sources.
One day earlier, the Bengals placed S Vonn Bell, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, DE Trey Hendrickson, C Trey Hopkins, G Quinton Spain on the reserve/COVID-19 list
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2022
On Tuesday, the Bengals added Vonn Bell, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Trey Hendrickson, Trey Hopkins, and Quinton Spain to the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Case Keenum Vs. Brandon Allen
Not only is it the Battle of Ohio, but it is also the battle of the backups.
Case Keenum is expected to start for the Browns as Baker Mayfield is done for the season with the shoulder injury.
Burrow’s backup is Brandon Allen.
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
Allen is in his third NFL season, the second with the Bengals.
Before Cincinnati, he was with the Denver Broncos.
He has started eight games in his career and has a 2-6 record.
Allen has thrown nine touchdowns and six interceptions in his career.
Watch the Browns take on the Bengals at 1:00 PM EST on January 9, 2022.