Joe Burrow took the field at the Cincinnati Bengals first OTA this offseason on Tuesday just six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL. Bengals fans were delighted to see their franchise quarterback in action and the appearance instilled confidence that the rising second-year would be ready to go for Week 1 of the 2021 season.
Burrow didn't exert himself too much in his first organized team activity, but looked sharp when throwing the football. The 24-year-old got his first opportunity in two years to workout with former LSU teammate and Bengals first round draft pick Ja'Marr Chase, giving fans a glimpse of what's to come in Cincinnati.
Burrow wore a knee brace on his left knee during the practice, which isn't surprising. He tore his ACL in that knee last November in the Bengals game against the Washington Football Team.
However, the quarterback's recovery appears to be going better than expected. Burrow said that his knee strength is about 80-85 percent and that he can do most of what he needs to on the field during practice.
“It feels good,” Burrow said of his knee, per Pro Football Talk. “What we’ve been doing out there today, we’ve been doing for basically the last month. . . . We’re out of the hardest part. Now the fun part begins.”
Burrow continued by saying that he expects to be fully ready to go for training camp later this offseason. Depending on what the Bengals plan to do to ramp back up his involvement, we could see the 24-year-old in the team's preseason games.
Getting Burrow back will be critical for Cincinnati. In 10 starts as a rookie, Burrow completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Bengals will need to rely on the 24-year-old to maintain their relevance in the AFC North.
Hopefully Burrow is able to stay on his current recovery trajectory and we'll see him in a Bengals game as soon as possible.