Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was back on the practice field Wednesday for the first time since straining his calf on July 27, but it was only to watch the joint practice against the Packers.
Since the injury, Burrow has been doing rehab work on his calf inside Paycor Stadium while the team practices, then chatting with teammates in the locker room afterward and sitting in on all the meetings.
What Does Joe Burrow’s Presence at Practice Say About His Recovery Progress?
But the break from the mundane by having another team to practice against — and Bengals Ring of Honor inductee Chad Johnson to pose for photos with — brought Burrow to the sideline.
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 9, 2023
“We had talked about it this morning — him coming out if he felt like it — and he decided he wanted to,” Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. “So I looked over, and he was standing right next to me. It was great. It was good to have him.”
“It’s always nice to have his presence out there,” Callahan added. “It’s good for guys to see him out. He’s been rehabbing quite a bit. 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, of course, was watching the Bengals offense against the Packers defense, which meant he was far away from the fisticuffs between the Bengals defense and Packers offense on the middle field.
While some may see Burrow’s presence at practice as progress in his recovery from the calf strain, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor reiterated at his pre-practice news conference that there is no update.
“The timeline is several weeks from when I said several weeks,” he said. “So we’ll just let that play out.”
Asked about Ja’Marr Chase’s comments about not caring if Burrow missed the first five weeks as long as he’s back for the rest of the season, Taylor again went to his standard answer that he should just have recorded on his phone, so it would be a button push away.
“I said it would be several weeks from when I said it would be several weeks.”
A few questions later, Taylor offered his most lengthy comments about Burrow’s recovery when asked about benchmarks he wants to see along the way, saying there is a comprehensive plan in place, as there is with any injured player, and he has full faith in the trainers and rehab specialists to execute it.
“I don’t interject what benchmarks I want to see from any of our rehab guys,” Taylor said. “They’ve been proven that they do an outstanding job with our guys coming off of injury. They do an excellent job of giving these players what they need to come back on the best timeline that’s best for the player, No. 1.”
“We’re on the same page with all those guys,” Taylor continued. “I trust them. I do not interject, ‘Hey, let’s get them running today.’ None of that stuff. We just make sure we’re on the same page when we go out to practice, what our expectations are, what their expectations are when they’re in here during walk-throughs or practices and are not out there with us. I feel like we’ve been really clean with that.”
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