It sounds like Joe Burrow is going to be ready for Week 1.
The Bengals’ QB saw his rookie season come to an end prematurely when he suffered a left knee injury that included a torn ACL and MCL in Week 11 against the Washington Football Team. But after having surgery in December, Burrow’s doctor says he is “on track” to start for the Bengals against the Vikings in their 2021 season opener.
“He’s on track for full go for start of the season,” Dr. Neal ElAttrache texted to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “He’s doing all the work. He’s worked his tail off and been an amazingly mature participant in his recovery. He’s focused and great to work with.”
While there were some questions about the extent of Burrow’s injury, ElAttrache’s update is encouraging for Cincinnati. The doctor even went as far as saying Burrow’s knee is “performing perfectly” considering where he’s at in his recovery.
“We are very happy with his recovery, to say the least,” ElAttrache said. “Notwithstanding the nature of his injury and extent of his reconstruction, his knee is performing perfectly.
“We just had him tested out here with a high-tech video and biomechanical evaluation and he was ahead of where we anticipated and well into the return to performance phase of his recovery. With him already performing this way, it’s ‘all systems go’ for the start of the season.”
With Burrow on track to return, the Bengals won’t have to worry about beginning the season with Brandon Allen as their starting quarterback. Allen threw for 925 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions in relief of Burrow last season but posted just a 1-4 record.
It’s unclear how much work Burrow will be able to get in this offseason. That’s part of the reason that the Bengals are carrying five QBs right now in Burrow, Allen, Kyle Shurmur, Collin Hill and Eric Dungey.
But when it comes time to open the season, Burrow should be on the field. And with top-five receiver Ja’Marr Chase and second-round tackle Jackson Carman now in tow, his supporting cast should be stronger than it was last season.