Bengals Notebook: Veterans set the tone at OTAs
As impressive as what Joe Burrow did Tuesday in his first practice since his knee surgery, what he did behind the scenes may have been just as important for this young Bengals team that has banded and bonded by showing up en masse for one of those voluntary workouts some players and teams are spurning.
Bengals Joe Burrow cautiously optimistic to play in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season
He'd been throwing to equipment managers Sam Staley and Tyler Runk and rehab commander-in-chief Nick Cosgray for the past month. He must have been dying to throw to guys in numbers because he lasered balls to Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins and, of course, the explosive fifth pick in the draft, Ja'Marr Chase, Burrow's buddy from LSU.
Quick Hits: Joe Burrow zips ahead of schedule in first practice
But Burrow looked so good and so confident after Tuesday's first practice since his ACL injury on Nov. 22 that they are cautiously optimistic he's on track for taking the first snap of the season on Sept. 12 after throwing crisply to his single receivers running routes on air. He did drop backs, but no rollouts.
Bengals have full attendance at start of OTAs
The Bengals had full attendance at Tuesday’s initial OTA session, including franchise cornerstone players that ended last season on injured reserve – quarterback Joe Burrow, running back Joe Mixon, defensive tackle D.J. Reader and cornerback Trae Waynes.
Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase did extra work after first Bengals OTAs
Burrow, wearing a big brace on his reconstructed knee, took the field with his teammates Tuesday. He warmed up and then worked through the paces, eventually taking snaps from shotgun and working with his receivers.
Texans release QB Ryan Finley 2 months after trade with Bengals
The Texans acquired Finley in March following a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals. With Finley no longer a part of the team, the Texans will likely enter the 2021 season with Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills, and Driskel as their primary quarterbacks.
Joe Burrow participates in Day 1 of Bengals OTAs
That Burrow was able to drop back and plant on his left leg was a welcome sight nonetheless. It backed up his prior assertion that he is "ahead of schedule" in his rehab and expects to be ready for the season opener. His knee injury derailed a stellar rookie campaign, which saw Burrow complete 65.3% of his throws for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions.
Cincinnati Bengals 2021 win total, playoff odds examined
Over at BetMGM, the Bengals have a win total projection of 6.5, with the over as the possible notable payout (+105). The odds also outline whether the Bengals will make the playoffs, with yes at +450 odds and no at -650.
Around the league
Jimmy Garoppolo 'took a while to process everything' after 49ers traded up for No. 3 pick
With organized team activities underway and Jimmy Garoppolo back on the field with his San Francisco 49ers, all appears well and good with his ankle, which hampered him to the point of ending the 2020 season on injured reserve.
NFL will have unified start to training camp with fans' expected return
In a first for the league, clubs will begin training camp in unison with 29 squads set to report on Tuesday, July 27 -- which is 47 days prior to Sunday of Week 1 of the regular season, as allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. Plans for fan events and league-wide practices are set to follow on Saturday, July 31, Pelissero added.
AFC North projected starters: Browns bursting with firepower; don't dismiss Steelers
With the 2021 NFL Draft and most of free agency in the rearview, Gregg Rosenthal will project starting lineups for all 32 teams because that's his idea of fun. Check out the AFC North breakdowns below.