Report: Joe Burrow, Bengals 'Feel Like They're in a Good Place' Entering Opener

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2021

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 16: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) passes the ball during the Cincinnati Bengals training camp on August 16, 2021 at the Cincinnati Bengals training facility in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow hasn't played in the preseason, but there is reportedly no reason for concern as he recovers from knee surgery.

"My sense is Burrow and the Bengals feel like they're in a good place with Week 1 three weeks away," Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated wrote Monday.

Burrow underwent surgery in December to repair the torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. He has worked his way back on to the field for practices, but he did not appear in either of his team's first two preseason games.

Cincinnati has one more exhibition game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins before opening the season against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Week 1 game is less than 10 months on from Burrow's injury, providing a reason to be conservative with his return date.

As Breer noted, there was a plan to get Burrow a few preseason snaps, but it wasn't set in stone. In July, Bengals president Mike Brown indicated they might hold him until the 2021 campaign.

"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," Brown told reporters. "But his effort rehabbing was A-plus."

The Bengals are likely much more concerned about the long-term projection for Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. The 24-year-old showed his upside last season while throwing 13 touchdown passes with five interceptions on his way to an 89.8 quarterback rating in 10 starts.

With exciting weapons at his disposal such as receivers Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase, Burrow could have a big 2021 season if he can get close to 100 percent.