The mood and the mantra in the Cincinnati Bengals‘ locker room after yet another loss and yet another 0-2 start to the season is that they will put their failures behind them and move on. What is less clear is when — or even if –- quarterback Joe Burrow will be able to put his calf injury behind him once and for all.
Speaking with a level of concern that is rare for Burrow, he said he tweaked his right calf on a short incompletion to Ja’Marr Chase with 3:35 left in his team’s 27-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
On the following play, Burrow hit Tee Higgins for a four-yard touchdown pass and limped to the sideline, where he was checked out by trainers.
“It’s pretty sore right now, but no telling how it’s going to feel,” Burrow said after the game. “I think we’re going to take it day by day.”
What We Know About Joe Burrow’s Calf Injury
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said the plan was for Burrow to go back into the game if the defense got a stop, which it did not.
But there is no certainty about Burrow’s calf moving forward, something Burrow made clear in his postgame news conference when asked about the possibility this could be an issue for the rest of the season.
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“It’s tough to tell. It’s tough to look into the future and see that,” Burrow said. “I’m doing everything I can to get healthy and get that thing the way I need to so I can go out and perform the way I need to to win.”
“I don’t know how I’m gonna feel the next couple days,” he added. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Burrow’s Week 2 Stats
Burrow was 27 of 41 for 222 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, a far cry from the career-low performance he posted last week in the 24-3 loss to Cleveland. Taylor said he thought Burrow “played great.”
But early on, Sunday looked as though it was going to be a continuation of that showing, with the Bengals going three-and-out on their first two possessions before getting a field goal with 3:01 left before halftime.
In the second half, Burrow started looking more like himself, including one play where he jumped over a pass rusher and sprinted out of the pocket for a five-yard gain. It was the first time he had taken off and run like that in a game since the injury.
“That felt great,” Burrow said. “Then, obviously, I tweaked it again. We’ll just have to reevaluate in the next couple of days.”
After the tweak, backup quarterback Jake Browning was throwing on the sideline in the event Burrow wouldn’t be able to go.
Burrow said he’s had good days and bad days while recovering from the calf. He said on the bad days, the calf felt tight. He didn’t go into details about what it felt like Sunday after the “tweak.”
“Whenever you have these kind of things, it’s always ongoing,” he said. “It’s always something that you’re managing.”
That management will be key the next few days as Burrow and the rest of the Bengals get an extra day of rest before playing Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams. The next scheduled practice is 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
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