Despite suffering from a calf injury, Joe Burrow leads the Bengals and has shown remarkable resilience as he skillfully guided the Cincinnati Bengals to their first victory.
COLUMBUS — Joe Burrow, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, wanted to play on Monday night if he felt physically and mentally prepared to compete.
Burrow played every offensive snap in the Bengals’ 19-16 victory against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, only eight days after re-injuring a strained right calf.
For the first time since Burrow’s debut year in 2020, the Bengals (1-2) were in danger of suffering a three-game losing skid. That’s why Burrow tried so hard to play through the calf injury in the big game.
Burrow warned that reinjury was possible if the patient returned to play. “But there’s also the danger of sitting on your hands and going 0-3. That’s why I made the effort to play, since I care about my team and I knew I could help them win.
Burrow completed just 26 passes out of 49 attempts for 259 yards and one interception. Then he admitted that he and the offense might need some improvements. Cincinnati linebacker Logan Wilson had two interceptions, while the Bengals’ defense had six sacks and limited the Rams to a single score on four red zone possessions; thus, their effort was sufficient.
Burrow said that he worked out on Monday morning and was feeling well. He said that the criterion was the absence of any problems. He told the coaches and managers that after the Friday and Saturday practices, he felt ready to compete.
Ja’Marr Chase, a wide receiver for the Bengals, has been quite outspoken all week about how he doesn’t think Burrow should play if he isn’t 100 percent healthy.
You got nuts, boy, I told him. That’s why I told you not to play,” Chase said. That’s another proof that Joe is a stubborn old fool. The guy plays football for crying out loud. You have to give him credit for having such a strong character. They don’t manufacture quarterbacks with that kind of grit very often.
Burrow replied by promising Chase plenty of touches against the Rams’ (1-2) defense. And that’s precisely what happened: Chase caught 12 of 15 targets for 141 yards, stretching the field and testing Burrow’s calf with a 43-yard completion.
Offensive play-caller and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor called a fake toss in which Burrow rolled to his right undefended. On Cincinnati’s longest play of the year, he found Chase all alone in the end zone.
According to Taylor, the two had discussed how they felt about Burrow being so exposed in the days leading up to the game. Another discussion between the coach and quarterback before the play led to a field goal.
“I asked him a few plays before, and he felt good about it,” Taylor explains. “It’s a quick toss, probably seven steps before he whipped out the bench route to Ja’Marr.”
They didn’t need Burrow to do much rushing for the Bengals. They needed him to be able to move about freely. Burrow said that he was careful about prolonging plays and wasn’t afraid to immediately toss the ball away as he wanted to get through the game.
Despite taking six hits and two sacks (both by Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald), Burrow continued to play until the final whistle.
The quarterback is aware that his calf ailment may resurface later in the season. The Bengals have a tough road game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, but their performance on Monday was encouraging.
Nothing bad happened today, but we’re still taking things day by day,” Burrow added. It dawned on me throughout this ordeal that this kind of thing may occur at any moment.
It feels fantastic to have finished this. We’ll be more prepared for the week ahead because of it.