When the 2020 season began, the Cincinnati Bengals had one main reason to be excited: Joe Burrow. While expecting too much from a rookie quarterback is always a risk, the former LSU star seemed to have what it takes to thrive at the NFL level; things weren’t perfect, but he still looked pretty good through his first nine professional starts. The 10th, however, ended in tragedy.
Although Joe Burrow is done for the season thanks to a brutal knee injury, the quarterback is still impressing members of the Cincinnati Bengals organization. Even during his rehab efforts, the young signal-caller is apparently still “a beast.”
Joe Burrow looked like a legitimate NFL player with the Bengals
During his time at LSU, Joe Burrow was the big man on campus. While the transition from college to the pros can be tough, it seems like the quarterback has what it takes to thrive at the professional level.
Despite some concerns that he’d refuse to join the Bengals, Burrow headed to southern Ohio as the first-overall pick and signed on the dotted line. When the season began, he was under center as Cincinnati’s starting quarterback.
While that first start wasn’t the most successful—Burrow threw for 193 yards and an interception but added one rushing touchdown—results improved in the subsequent weeks. During Week 7’s meeting with the Cleveland Browns, for example, Burrow became the first NFL rookie to post a stat line of 400 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown in a single game.
As with any rookie quarterback, there were some poor performances and missed opportunities along the way. On the whole, however, Joe Burrow to be well on his way to professional success.
A season-ending injury changes everything
As any sports fan can tell you, injuries can halt any player’s progress, no matter how talented they are. That, unfortunately, is what’s happened to Joe Burrow, at least for now.
While Burrow was posting impressive individual numbers, he was playing behind a porous offensive line and constantly running for his life. In Week 11, that reality finally caught up with him.
In the second half of Cincinnati’s Week 11 game against the Washington Football Team, Burrow absorbed a hit shortly after releasing a pass. The quarterback was awkwardly bent over and, when the play finished, he remained on the turf.
As reported by Adam Schefter and Ben Baby of ESPN, Burrow “tore his ACL and MCL and suffered other structural issues.” The injury, unsurprisingly, ended his season and might keep him out for the start of the 2021 campaign.
Joe Burrow is still impressing the Cincinnati Bengals, even during his rehab
Given the severity of his injury, it would have been understandable if Joe Burrow faded into the background for the rest of the season. The rookie quarterback, however, is still around the team and impressing with his efforts.
“I saw him in [the training room], and he seems high-spirited,” tight end C.J. Uzomah said of Burrow on the Bengals Booth podcast. “He was asking a bunch of questions about like, ‘Hey, can I do this? Hey, can I do this? If I try to flex this right now, is that OK?’ And the trainer, Nick [Cosgray], was like, ‘Yes, does that not hurt?’ And [Burrow] was like, ‘no, it feels a lot better already today.”
While that anecdote seems encouraging for Bengals fans, there’s more to the story. Apparently, Cosgray was pretty impressed with the young quarterback’s efforts.
“And I was doing the rest of my rehab and finishing up, and Nick came to help me out, and he was like ‘That guy’s a beast. That’s insane. His pain tolerance has to be ridiculous for that,” Uzomah added.
Obviously, there’s a long way to go before the young quarterback returns to the football field. If he can overcome a serious knee injury and continue to thrive, though, Joe Burrow’s legend will only get larger.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference