Joe Burrow's impressive recovery from his recent calf injury has put him in position to start the Bengals' season opener Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns. Bengals coach Zac Taylor made it official on Friday that the franchise QB will get the nod in Week 1. This comes after Burrow practiced fully this week and even proclaimed himself "ready to go."
"I'm expecting to play," Burrow said earlier this week.
This news comes less than 24 hours after it was revealed that Burrow and the Bengals agreed to a historic contract extension. It's athat includes $219.01 million guaranteed and makes Burrow the highest-paid player in league history.
"This is where I want to be my whole career," Burrow said previously when asked about his contract status (via Cincinnati.com).
On the field, Burrow hasn't looked like anything other than the Pro Bowl quarterback he is since returning from a calf injury that was sustained during the first week of training camp. Despite being sidelined for a month, Burrowwhile reacquainting himself with the Bengals' talented receiving corps.
"I thought today was a really good day for him," Taylor said on Monday regarding Burrow's practice, via CLNS Media. "It was encouraging to see, so we'll just take one day at a time."
Along with Taylor, Burrow's teammates have lauded his play since returning to practice last week. The Bengals' social media team also released the following video of Burrow hitting Ja'Marr Chase on a deep pass during practice.
Along with walking the walk, Burrow is also talking the talk as far as taking control of the huddle and getting on the same page with his teammates.
"I think that's what makes him great," Taylor said. "He's not afraid to take guys to the side after a rep and give them even more coaching on exactly what he thinks, because ultimately that's what matters. ... For him to take that ownership is critical, and it's why he's had the success we've had with him at the helm, because he's not afraid to let these guys know how he wants it done."
Bengals fans are hoping that the team can avoid a similar start to the one that it endured in 2022. Following another lengthy preseason absence from Burrow (who had an appendectomy last July), Cincinnati started 0-2 as the offense struggled to find its footing. It eventually found it, and the Bengals ended up getting within a game of the Super Bowl.
Along with Burrow, the Bengals also received a positive health update on cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who is expected to face the Browns after recovering from a torn ACL sustained during a loss in Cleveland last Oct. 31.