Joe Burrow 'All Systems Go' for Bengals' Season Opener After ACL Injury Recovery

Adam WellsMay 18, 2021

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) on the field before the start of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
AP Photo/Al Drago

The Cincinnati Bengals can expect to have Joe Burrow back at quarterback when they open the 2021 regular season. 

Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed Burrow's knee surgery in December, told ESPN's Adam Schefter in a text that the Bengals star should be "all systems go" for Week 1. 

"He's on track for full go for start of the season," ElAttrache wrote. "He's doing all the work. He's worked his tail off and been an amazingly mature participant in his recovery. He's focused and great to work with."

Burrow suffered a torn ACL and MCL in Cincinnati's Week 11 loss to the Washington Football Team. 

The Bengals announced on Dec. 3 that Burrow underwent successful surgery, but they didn't include a potential return timetable in their initial statement. 

During an appearance on the Pro Football Focus podcast with Cris Collinsworth (h/t Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com) last month, Burrow said he was "very optimistic about where I'm at" in the recovery process. 

The No. 1 pick in last year's NFL draft also said in that interview he is "expecting to be there on the first snap of 2021."

Prior to the injury, Burrow was having a terrific rookie season. The 24-year-old threw for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions and a 65.3 completion percentage in 10 starts. 

There will be questions about Cincinnati's ability to protect Burrow. He was sacked 32 times in those 10 games last year. The team did sign veteran tackle Riley Reiff as a free agent and selected Clemson's Jackson Carman in the second round of the 2021 draft to play guard. 

One thing Burrow won't have to worry about his building a rapport with his receiving corps. The Bengals drafted former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick. They also have Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd coming back. 

Cincinnati will open the 2021 season on Sept. 12 at home against the Minnesota Vikings.