Joe Burrow ‘progressing as he should’ after first throwing session since injury

Joe Burrow appears to be trending in the right direction as he rehabs from his calf injury.

The star quarterback had a throwing session and was running around the field at Paycor Stadium ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals‘ preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday. That’s just part of the process for Burrow to return, according to Bengals coach Zac Taylor. 

“I think things are good and he’s progressing as he should,” Taylor told reporters following Friday’s game.

Burrow’s throwing session on Friday marked his first workout since he suffered a right calf strain at one of the Bengals’ first practices of training camp on July 27. The 26-year-old appeared to be in a good amount of pain when he went down that day, hobbling as he dealt with the non-contact injury before being carted off. 

Taylor and the Bengals have been relatively vague about Burrow’s injury since he went down. A day after Burrow suffered the calf strain, Taylor told reporters that Burrow would miss “several weeks.” He reiterated that sentiment on Wednesday.

“The timeline [for Burrow’s return] is several weeks from when I said several weeks,” Taylor said. 

Burrow attended Wednesday’s joint practice with the Packers, his first such appearance since the injury. He was just a spectator that day, but Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was happy to see him out on the field.

“He’s been rehabbing quite a bit,” Callahan told reporters Wednesday. “He’s doing a good job and to have him out at practice is always beneficial. Guys like seeing him, too. I think you saw everybody excited to have him out, standing around watching.”

Burrow continued his spectator status when the Bengals’ preseason game against the Packers kicked off on Friday. But that was already expected to happen, regardless of his injury status, as Cincinnati didn’t play its starters in the 36-19 loss. 

Bengals star receiver Ja’Marr Chase recently told the NFL Network that he’d be OK with Burrow missing not just the rest of the preseason, but also the first few weeks of the regular season, too.

“I just want him to be 100 percent healthy to play,” Chase told reporters in a follow-up on Sunday. “I don’t want him rushing nothing, I don’t want people in his ear telling him to play at a certain time. I just want him to be healthy.”

The 2023 season is shaping up to be an important one for the Bengals. Cincinnati has reached the AFC Championship Game in each of the last two seasons, winning it in 2021 before losing to the Rams in the Super Bowl. They lost to Kansas City in last season’s AFC title game.

In addition, Burrow’s rookie contract is close to expiring. He’s entering the penultimate year of his first contract, which pays quarterbacks at a much cheaper rate than veteran starting quarterbacks. As Burrow’s deal is up following the 2024 season, he and the Bengals were reportedly in discussions over a new deal that some believe could be the biggest in NFL history. 

For now, the Bengals have their eyes on finishing the preseason. They have two more exhibition games before opening the season on Sep. 10 against the Cleveland Browns.

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