Injuries are commonplace in the NFL.
There are the ones everyone knows: Concussions. Sprained and torn ligaments. Turf toe.
But on Sunday, two players went down with more uncommon ailments. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sent to the hopsital after Sunday’s loss to the Packers with a throat contusion. A few hours later, Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah also was taken to the hospital with the same injury during his team’s loss to the Chargers.
MORE: Joe Burrow injury update
What exactly is a throat contusion? Sporting News breaks it down.
What is a throat contusion?
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dr. Timothy Kremchek, Reds team medical director and direct consultant for NFL players at Beacon Orthopaedics, explained that a throat contusion happens when someone has direct trauma to the neck.
Kremchek told the Enquirer that if someone has trouble breathing or has a voice change after being hit in the throat, there is a risk that they could have significant injuries.
“Typically they’ll go to the hospital and be evaluated by a CAT Scan just to make sure there are not fractures or threatening injuries,” Kremchek said.
MORE: Kirk Cousins explains confusing sideline exchange with Mike Zimmer, clarifies ‘celebration’
Pro Football Talk reported that Burrow was believed to have been poked in the throat during the game, and that it did not come from a big play when he hit the turf. The report said it is unlcear whether the poke was deliberate.
Owusu-Koramoah was released from the hospital Sunday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, and he was scheduled to fly back Monday.
How long will Burrow be out?
It is unclear at this point how much time Burrow will miss.
Kremchek told the Enquirer that if there isn’t a fracture, Burrow will only have to reduce the swelling in his neck, which he said can be quick.
“They’re not common, but when they happen, you’ve got to make sure nothing is fractured,” Kremchek told the Enquirer. “You can’t just blow it off.”
MORE: How the Bills got better than Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs, from Josh Allen to a deeper defense
Kremchek said that Burrow could be back next week if he doesn’t have anything broken, such as a fractured voice box, but said that because there are blood vessles in the front of his neck there is a chance for bruising to occur.
According to the Enquirer report, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase said Burrow did not have any issues speaking and that they talked after the game.