Joe Burrow 'Feeling Great' After Making Return from Knee Injury vs. Dolphins

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2021

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws before an NFL exhibition football game against the Miami Dolphins in Cincinnati, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
AP Photo/Aaron Doster

Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Burrow was upbeat after making his return to an NFL field in Sunday's 29-26 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The second-year quarterback told reporters he's "feeling great right now."

"It felt good to be back, not only for me but in front of the fans," he said. "... It's nice to see the fans out there and how excited they are about the year."

Bengals fans gave Burrow a warm reception when he led the offense on its first drive of the game:


A standing O for Burrow. 👏 <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeyB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@joeyb</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/Bengals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bengals</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MIAvsCIN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MIAvsCIN</a> on CBS<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/1mKBUuWbnP">https://t.co/1mKBUuWbnP</a> <a href="https://t.co/BXuWFYczYr">pic.twitter.com/BXuWFYczYr</a>

That largely represented the extent of his involvement. His one attempt was an incomplete pass to Ja'Marr Chase and Cincinnati went three-and-out on the series.

Head coach Zac Taylor said he planned on giving the first string just three plays and would've removed Burrow and the rest of the starters if they had gotten a first down.

Burrow's involvement may have been limited, but simply seeing him in uniform and under center represented a clear step forward.

When the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner tore his ACL and MCL last November, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Ben Baby wrote that similar injuries had resulted in a recovery ranging from nine to 12 months. His availability for the start of the 2021 campaign appeared to be in doubt.

But he and the Bengals remained optimistic about his readiness for Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Ideally, Burrow would've gotten more snaps in preseason to get comfortable behind a revamped offensive line. And given Chase's shaky training camp, he might have benefited from additional on-field reps with his former LSU teammate.

Burrow's health was nonetheless a top priority for Cincinnati, and now there seems to be no doubt as to his status on Sept. 12.