CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow went full speed in practice Wednesday and said he’s on track to play in Sunday’s opener at Cleveland after a calf injury sidelined him for most of the preseason.
“I’m in a good spot,” Burrow said Wednesday in his first comments to reporters since he was injured July 27. “I’m ready to go. We’re going to see how these next couple of days play out because you never know with these things, but I’m expecting to play.”
The 26-year-old Pro Bowler hobbled on one leg and then went to the ground while scrambling out of the pocket on July 27. He rode off the field in a medical cart. He finally returned to practice a week ago after missing more than a month.
Burrow has experience in getting ready for season openers quickly and with limited practice.
Camp was cut short in Burrow’s rookie year of 2020 because of the pandemic. He went into camp in 2021 still rehabbing from major surgery on his left knee. He was stricken with appendicitis at the start of camp in 2022.
Coach Zac Taylor said he doesn’t worry about Burrow getting up to speed.
“He maybe hasn’t gotten all the physical reps, but he’s gotten the mental reps,” Taylor said. “You know, he’s in every meeting talking through every rep as camp has gone on. He’s locked in. He’s had several good days of practice now, and we still get three more to go.”
Burrow, who led the Bengals to AFC North titles the past two seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2021, could reach a long-term deal with the Bengals soon that will make him one of the highest-paid players in the league.