According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow is trending towards playing Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. Rapoport took to NFL Total Access on Tuesday morning, suggesting all signs towards Burrow suiting up and starting against the Browns on Sunday. The injury update for Joe Burrow is a welcome site for Bengals fans.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2023
The MVP-caliber gunslinger suffered a calf strain early in training camp, and the Bengals have remained cautious with their franchise player as he continues to work his way back. Head coach Zac Taylor considers his star quarterback “day-to-day” but also emphasized that Burrow had a “really good day.” Joe Burrow also returned to a full pads practice earlier in the week, something Taylor called “encouraging to see.”
Joe Burrow: Outlook
Joe Burrow posted mammoth numbers during a career year in 2022. The former first-overall pick threw for 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns against 12 picks in 16 games. Cincinnati finished the regular season 12-4, their best record since 2015. Burrow also finished fourth in MVP voting and earned his first Pro Bowl nod. However, the Bengals fell short in the playoffs, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship.
Burrow looks to return to the Super Bowl after falling short against the Los Angeles Rams in 2021. Cincinnati is 0-3 in the Super Bowl in their 56 seasons. Joe Burrow is also considered one of the heavy favorites to win the MVP in 2023. He could join fellow Bengal signal callers Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason as the only Cincinnati players to take home MVP honors.
What if Joe Burrow is OUT in Week 1?
The Bengals would call upon quarterback Jake Browning if Joe Burrow suffered a setback or reaggravated his calf injury. Browning has spent the past three seasons on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad before edging out Trevor Siemian for the backup job in Cincinnati. The 27-year-old was a four-year starter for the Washington Huskies from 2015-2019.
His best season came as a sophomore when he threw for 43 touchdowns against nine picks. However, he failed to eclipse 20 passing touchdowns in his other three seasons.