Week 1 is fast approaching but the Bengals are still without their franchise cornerstone in Joe Burrow. The star quarterback remains sidelined due to a calf injury he suffered in the early days of training camp, which had Zac Taylor declare him out for “several weeks.” However, there have been some encouraging updates about Burrow’s status, which provides optimism that he’ll be under center when the team does begin its regular season in Cleveland against the Browns on Sept. 10.
While speaking to reporters on Monday, Taylor didn’t exactly say when Burrow would be back on the field but noted that he looks as good as he’s ever seen him.
“He looks great. Physically just walking around, he looks probably as good as he’s ever looked at this point,” Taylor said. “That’s a positive and we’ll just go from there.”
Taylor also joked that Burrow would only need “one rep” to be ready for the start of the regular season. When asked if his progression has gotten to the level where the team is crafting a plan for his return and a potential ramp-up period, Taylor said, “We’ve had a plan throughout. That’s just something that since the day it happened we go through and decide what’s going to be best for the next day.”
While it’s not exactly the most definitive update, Taylor’s comments do sound like Burrow is making the proper steps to be available in Week 1. On Sunday, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan also relayed positive news about Burrow’s status.
“To my eyes, he looks like he is progressing the way he’s supposed to,” Callahan said, via SI.com. “I don’t see him a lot doing things. I probably see him as much as you guys do. So I don’t go watch his rehab or anything like that, but I feel good about everything I’ve heard and seen so far.”
Similar to Taylor’s “one rep” comment, Callahan also didn’t think it would take Burrow too long to get back to form, saying, “Take a couple of days just getting back into rhythm with the receivers, but these guys have played so much football together that doesn’t concern me so much and he’s not trying to put weight on like he was last year or anything like that. He’s in good shape, so I don’t think it would take him very long.”
Burrow suffered the injury on July 27, so he’s been sidelined for just under a month. With one more preseason game on the docket before the Sept. 10 opener, that would certainly fill the “several weeks” recovery period that Taylor initially gave out earlier this summer.