Drafting a quarterback No. 1 overall in the NFL draft is a risky proposition. For every John Elway and Peyton Manning and there is a JaMarcus Russell and Tim Couch.
The Cincinnati Bengals hope that their 2020 No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow, is closer to the former than the latter. The former LSU Tiger started well but suffered a horrible-looking season-ending knee injury in his rookie year.
Now, the quarterback looks to return for the 2021 season and prove he was worth his lofty draft spot. Luckily for Burrow and the Bengals, they just received some good medical news.
Joe Burrow’s knee injury derailed a promising rookie season
The Bengals didn’t waste any time getting a look at their prized passer. Burrow started Cincinnati’s 2020 Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The first outing wasn’t spectacular (23/36, 193 yards, one interception, no touchdowns), but the quarterback kept the game close. The Bengals lost in a nail-biter, 16-13.
Through the first 10 weeks of the season, the performances improved, although the results were generally the same. Burrows threw for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and just five picks. He only mustered a 2-7-1 record, but that was more on the team than its QB.
In Week 10 against the Washington Football Team, two defenders sandwiched Burrow, and he blew out his ACL. The Bengals had a 9-7 lead at the time but would go on to lose the game 20-9.
The Bengals drafted help for Burrow in the 2021 NFL draft
While Burrow rehabbed his knee, his organization went to work, getting him some help for the upcoming season. With the No. 5 pick in the draft, the Bengals selected LSU wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase. The move reunited college teammates who connected for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns the last time they were together.
After providing Burrow a new (old?) weapon, the front office set its sights on protecting its franchise star. The Bengals used three of their next six picks on offensive linemen. The team picked up Clemson guard Jackson Carman in the second, East Carolina tackle D’Ante Smith in the fourth, and Georgia center Trey Hill in the sixth.
With these offensive additions, Burrow should be able to unleash his talents and turn at least some of those close losses into wins in 2021. At the very least, the influx of big men in front of him should keep him safer in the coming season.
Burrow’s doctor says he should be good to go in Week 1
After a tough season and an even tougher injury, Burrow and the Bengals got some good news a few months ahead of the new campaign. According to ESPN, the doctor who performed the quarterback’s knee surgery says that Burrow should be fully ready to go in Week 1.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a surgeon from Kerlan-Jobe in Los Angeles, texted the outlet:
He’s on track for full go for start of the season. 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.
This update is truly wonderful news for the Bengals and their QB, especially for a franchise that isn’t that far removed from a knee injury marring the career of a previous No. 1 pick, quarterback Carson Palmer.
Time will tell if Burrow can reach the heights of other highly-touted No. 1 picks, but the fact that he’ll be back on the field with more offensive help to start the 2021 season is a good sign.
It’s also something that should make Bengals fans breathe a deep sigh of relief.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference