The Cincinnati Bengals are making sure they are cautious with Joe Burrow, even if he's cleared to resume all football activities. Burrow won't start training camp on the PUP list, just eight months removed from ACL surgery that put his Week 1 status in jeopardy. Instead, Burrow will be on the field for the first day of training camp this week. However, don't expect to see him in any game action.
"We probably aren't going to put him out there until we get to the season because we don't want to risk anything with him," Bengals owner and president Mike Brown said, via ESPN's Ben Baby. "But his effort rehabbing was A-plus."
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Burrow has participated in all of the Bengals' OTAs in preparation for Week 1. The Bengals play host to the Vikings on Sept. 12, but Burrow will be evaluated by the team on a "week-to-week basis." The Bengals are expected to have Burrow participate in 11-on-11 drills to get him ready for the opener.
Burrow was sacked an average of 3.2 times per game last season (third-most in the NFL), which played a role in the quarterback tearing multiple ligaments in his knee. Burrow still threw for 300 yards five times last season, which is tied for the most 300-yard games by a Bengals quarterback in a season. Burrow only played 10 games, but completed 65.8% of his passes for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions (89.8 rating).
Cincinnati had four games in which it scored 30-plus points with Burrow at quarterback, double the amount it had in 2019. Burrow will be tasked to provide big plays in an offense devoid of them last year, as Cincinnati finished with the fewest 20-plus-yard pass plays (35) in the league. The Bengals also had just 44 plays of 20-plus yards in 2020, the second-fewest in the NFL.
Burrow is tasked with making the Bengals competitive in 2021. That opportunity can only occur if the franchise QB remains healthy.