It appears that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow's calf has recovered enough for him to take the field for the team's Week 1 matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
"I'm ready to go," the quarterback told reporters Wednesday, adding that he feels good about his ability to accelerate and stay mobile in the pocket.
“Yeah, I’m ready to go.”
Joe Burrow says the plan is to be ready to go for Week 1 pic.twitter.com/Agi0r4bVOn
— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) September 6, 2023
The 26-year-old was officially back at practice Aug. 30, a little more than a month after he went down with a calf strain during training camp. He had to be carted away after pump-faking and beginning to scramble. As he looked downfield, he began to hop on his left leg and grab his right calf as he positioned himself to sit.
Burrow was expected to be out for “several weeks," but comments from the Bengals camp about his progress were nothing but positive.
"I think he has a very healthy body," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said after Burrow's return via ESPN. "And I'm encouraged by that.”
After completing 68.2% of his passes for 11,774 yards, 82 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in three NFL seasons, Burrow was poised for a massive extension this year. After his injury, questions were raised about how negotiations might be impacted.
Burrow addressed those concerns Wednesday, saying that his focus is on football and beating Cleveland. The deal is "the last thing I’m thinking about right now,” he said. “When it comes, it comes."
It's not a change of tune from his stance before the injury. After the Los Angeles Chargers signed quarterback Justin Herbert to a five-year, $262 million extension, Burrow made it clear that he never considered holding out.
In addition to working to seal Burrow's deal, the reigning AFC North champions have receiver Tee Higgins and linebacker Logan Wilson up for extensions this year. Next year, two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase will become eligible for a new deal.