Today, we learned Bengals QB Joe Burrow suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and other structural damage to his left knee during Sunday’s loss at Washington.
While not a catastrophic injury to the degree that Washington QB Alex Smith suffered in 2018, which took him two full years to recover from, it’s still going to be a long recovery process for Burrow, as his injury takes around 9-12 months to recover from.
That would put his status for the 2021 season in serious jeopardy since we’re already almost into December.
These types of knee injuries, like the one Joe Burrow suffered, usually sideline players anywhere from 9-12 months, though each person heals and rehabs differently. But no matter how quickly Burrow does or doesn’t recover, next year’s status is now in question. https://t.co/XfUUMbMPOx— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
Shortly after the news of Burrow’s full injury diagnosis came out, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor met with the media via Zoom. While he wouldn’t say Burrow would be ready for the start of next season, Taylor does believe the franchise QB will play next year.
Asked Zac Taylor to clarify if Joe Burrow will be ready for the START of the '21 season, he said, "he'll be ready for the 2021 season."— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) November 23, 2020
Asked again, to be clear, if he'll be ready for the START of the season, he said, "I've said what I said." #Bengals
Paul Dehner also adds the Bengals expect (or want us to believe) Burrow will be ready in nine months, which means he’d be ready for the start of next season since Week 1 of the 2021 regular season would be about 10 months away.
Can confirm Joe Burrow's injury is a tear of the ACL and MCL, but it is viewed as a nine-month recovery.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 23, 2020
That would put him in line to return next year for the #Bengals and that sounds like the expectation.
The good news is the Bengals have had several players in recent years suffer torn ACLs and make it back in time for the following season. But it sounds like Burrow’s injury is worse than what Giovani Bernard, Carl Lawson, Geno Atkins, Clint Boling and Cedric Ogbuehi all suffered before returning within a nine-month timeframe.
Plus, doctors don’t usually give a timeframe for an injury recovery until they’ve done the surgery. The swelling in Burrow’s knee will need to go down before doctors can conduct surgery.
Recently, Giants running back Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL and had to wait 40 days before the swelling went down enough for doctors to perform surgery.
So truthfully, we may be several more weeks away from knowing just how long Burrow will be out. That, among many other reasons, is why I’m not putting any stock into the Bengals saying they expect it to be just nine months.