Cincinnati Bengals News: What Joe Burrow Said About His Chance of Playing Monday Night

There are three major hurdles in Joe Burrow's way of playing when the Cincinnati Bengals face the Rams, and he can't clear one them by himself.

Fresh off the practice field after not participating at all, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow sounded a lot more confident about his chances of playing Monday night against the Rams than head coach Zac Taylor did a few hours earlier.

How Is Joe Burrow Preparing To Play Monday Night?

“I’m preparing like I’m going to go out and play a Monday Night Football game,” Burrow said. “Whether that happens, I don’t know. But I’m going to be prepared to.”

Two of the three biggest things standing in his way of squaring off against Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in a Super Bowl LVI rematch are how his injured right calf feels after tweaking it Sunday in the 27-24 loss to the Ravens and the fact that he doesn’t view missing practice as a hurdle to playing in the game.

Burrow, who was wearing a compression sleeve while watching practice — “It just limits the swelling; that’s all it does,” he explained — said the calf has been feeling better each day since Sunday.

“Not as sore,” he said. “You know, time heals. So we’ll see.”

The Bengals will hold their biggest practice of the week on Friday, followed by a walkthrough on Saturday morning. Burrow said he doesn’t need to have a full practice Thursday or Friday to be good to go Monday.

“I wouldn’t say that’s the case,” he said. “I feel good about where I’m at, and I feel good about the progress I’ve made. I wouldn’t say that needs to happen.”

“You have to practice one day,” he clarified. “Maybe not full, but you’ve got to be running around throwing the ball. You just have to feel confident in your ability to go out and do the job. I don’t know yet. We’ll see. We’ll see how we feel the next couple of days.”

One of the biggest reasons Burrow believes he can be ready is the extra 24 hours of rest he received with the upcoming game being on Monday rather than Sunday.

“Yeah, that’s big,” he said of having the extra day of rest. “That’s what gives you hope.”

The third obstacle in Burrow’s way is the biggest. It’s one he can’t hurdle, no matter how hard he tries. He simply has to wait for the doctors, trainers, front office, and coaches to go out there and remove it from his path.

It involves weighing the risk of playing a single game, as important as it may be with the possibility of 0-3 staring everyone in the face, vs. the big-picture approach of risking doing further damage and losing the ability to play him for a stretch far longer than 60 minutes.

“Yeah, that may not be my decision to make,” Burrow admitted.

The most encouraging thing for Burrow is that all of the decisions about whether he should or shouldn’t play have been centered on one game. He said no one is talking to him about shutting things down on a longer basis, with four games remaining until the bye week.

“No, there haven’t been any discussions like that,” he said. “We’re kind of taking it day by day.”

Or, night by night, as the case may be.

MORE: Tracking Every Week 3 NFL Injury

While the fanbase may be losing sleep worrying about Burrow’s injury and his availability, QB1 said he’s making sure he gets plenty of shuteye and making it clear he is listening to everything the doctors and trainers tell him and following their advice.

“(Sleep is) most important,” Burrow said. “You can’t recover if you’re not sleeping. That’s when your body recovers. Build those proteins to help those muscles. If you’re not sleeping as much as possible and eating right, then you’re not healing as fast as you can.”

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