There’s no denying Joe Burrow has a very bright future ahead, but just how bright is his outlook for the 2021 season?
On the one hand, Burrow is coming off a major knee injury that has kept him from having a full offseason, and he may not play in the preseason, leaving him at least a little rusty when the regular season begins. He’s also once again playing behind a very questionable offensive line that could get him beat up, if not injured to the point he once again misses games.
On the other hand, Burrow has been killing it in his rehab, is way ahead of schedule in his recovery, and is trending toward being ready for the start of training camp, though he’ll still likely be eased into full on-field work. He also has what could be one of the NFL’s best receiving trios in Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd, while Auden Tate is as good of a fourth wideout as any team has.
And the additions of offensive line coach Frank Pollack, right tackle Riley Reiff and second-round pick Jackson Carman should provide a big upgrade to the o-line to help keep Burrow upright.
It would seem NFL analyst and former QB Chris Simms is going with the glass-half-empty approach to how good Burrow will be in 2021.
In Simms' annual ranking of the league’s top 40 quarterbacks, Burrow checked in at No. 17, behind names like Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr and Ryan Tannehill. Simms admitted he doesn’t think Burrow will be back to 100% this season, and that played a part in ranking the Cincinnati Bengals QB lower than expected.
Burrow did manage to beat out Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (22nd) to avoid being the AFC North’s lowest-ranked passer.
You can see Simms’ full breakdown of why Burrow came in at No. 17 in the video below, and check out the full ranking here.