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Michael Jordan is a man on a mission in 2021

The guard who gave up the hit that took out the rookie QB is upset with himself but confident he will win back everyone’s trust.

Syndication: Cincinnati Kareem Elgazzar, Cincinnati Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

We all make mistakes. Missing appointments, burning the toast, or sending an email too quickly are daily occurrences. I know about my own shortcomings because I read the comments for my articles.

But not all mistakes are equal.

Giving up a hit that shredded two ligaments in franchise quarterback Joe Burrow’s knee and damaged two more is kind of a big deal.

What’s more is that it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Michael Jordan was one of the weakest links on a poor offensive line last year. He seemed overwhelmed, out of place, and not deserving of the snaps he played. He allowed 35 pressures in just 14 games and only 10 starts. Only three players allowed more, but they all played the entire 16 game season.

In that very game against the Washington Football Team in which the devastating injury occurred, Jordan allowed a sack, 5 QB hits, 3 hurries, and 9 pressures, per Pro Football Focus.

All of that makes it a little harder for fans to want him back blocking for Burrow again.

It even took Jordan a bit of time to forgive himself: “I took it really personal... It took me about a week to get out of my own head,” he told The Athletic.

Now the third-year guard is looking to win back the approval of Who Dey nation. This after he’s already found his place back into the heart of the star passer himself.

Jordan narrated the discussion as follows:

“First thing I did was I apologized to Joe... I told him he was not going to hear any more words from me. Just actions. I can tell him I’m going to do better. He doesn’t want to hear that. He wants to see it. I’ll prove what I’m saying and my convictions this upcoming season. Not a whole lot of talking; I’m just going to show it.”

Burrow, being the excellent leader he is, accepted the apology. Jordan continued to say:

“He really just said ‘thank you, I appreciate it’... He told me he loved me, and I told him I loved him too. There’s always love between me and Joe Burrow.”

So that’s where things stand for now. Jordan will get his second chance. What he does with it remains to be seen.

Michael Jordan

Height: 6-6

Weight: 315

Age: 23

College: Ohio State

Hometown: born in Cincinnati, OH, attended high school in Canton Township, MI

Experience: three years

Cap Status

Jordan is still on his 4-year, $3,008,392 rookie deal. This year, he is set to make $850,000 in base salary, all according to Spotrac.

Background

Jordan is tall and long, but he plays guard, meaning, that doesn’t give him the same advantage it would were he to play tackle. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 Draft and viewed as a project from the start. Unfortunately, until now, he has remained a project. He was thrust into a much larger role than he deserved over the last two years (starting 19 games) because the team was lacking in offensive line talent.

Outlook for 2021

There is reason to believe that Jordan may ease into a lesser - but more effective - role this season. As we wrote earlier, he has taken training particularly seriously this offseason, dropping below 300 pounds and looking to add back weight in the form of muscle. He’s also been working with Willie Anderson, hoping to finetune his technique. And, of course, Jordan, like another former Ohio State o-lineman, Billy Price, will probably benefit from the tutelage of Frank Pollack.

After a disastrous 2020 campaign, things can only go up for Jordan. The question, though, is whether that is enough for him to develop into a reliable contributor.

Roster Odds

55%. While they have updated the o-line, they are not quite overflowing with talent yet. That means a young player with the type of body the franchise favors from a hometown favorite college will get every chance to remain on the team, despite his nightmarish gaffe last year. That said, he will face stiff competition in training camp. Quinton Spain figures to win the left guard spot and Jackson Carman seems to be the guy coaches are pushing for to win that right guard spot. Still, Jordan’s work ethic and determination will benefit him wherever he ends up.