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Bengals’ athletic trainer has confidence in Joe Burrow’s recovery

Paul Sparling has seen several other Bengals come back from ACL injuries during his time with the Bengals. If they can do it, so can Burrow.

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Say what you want about the Bengals’ injury history, they know how to recuperate players with surgically repaired ACLs.

Joe Burrow is back in Cincinnati and set to take on several more months of rehabbing with his left knee at about “15%” according to the Bengals’ franchise quarterback. Here to help him recover as quickly and effectively as possible is the team’s head athletic trainer Paul Sparling, who spoke with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com about Burrow’s upcoming rehab.

“We’ve had good reports,” Sparling said. “I see no reason why he won’t do well. Based on the surgery he had and based on the injury he had, he’s got a very predictable recovery. I think he can anticipate a full and complete recovery.”

The reports Sparling spoke of detailed that Burrow is about a month ahead of his expected recovery schedule and that the surgery revealed nothing out of the ordinary in Burrow’s knee.

The Bengals have been able to get notable players back onto the field quickly after ACL injuries. Carson Palmer was ready at the start of the 2006 season after tearing his ACL in January of that year during the playoffs. Clint Boling and Geno Atkins suffered torn ACLs relatively late in 2013 and both made it back in time for the 2014 season.

Giovani Bernard suffered his ACL injury late in Week 11 of the 2016 season—the same week of the 2020 season when Burrow went down—and blew everyone away by being out there for training camp in 2017.

It’s not a guarantee that Burrow follows in their footsteps, but Sparling knows that Burrow has the mental fortitude to push through it all.

“The people who have that personality, that love the challenge, the work, they do well,” Sparling says, “and I think Joe will do very, very well.”

The clock is ticking, but all signs point to Burrow being on the field come Week 1 in September.