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Zac Taylor on Joe Burrow: “It’s on us to protect him”

Zac Taylor wants to make sure his franchise quarterback is healthy before the season starts.

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Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Bengals QB Joe Burrow is cleared after having major surgery on his knee. If the season started tomorrow, Burrow could take the first snap.

However, Zac Taylor wants to make sure that Burrow doesn’t do anything that would cost him the first game in September.

“He looks really good,” Taylor said, via the Enquirer. ”It’s on us to protect him through that process as well a little bit. There’s times when we scale him back just like Trey Hopkins, just like D.J. Reader, all these guys. ... But Joe looks good and seems to feel real good.”

Burrow’s opinion on what he can do and Taylor’s opinion may vary. When it comes to preseason, Taylor has already said they will be cautious about letting Burrow play. Burrow, however, said that he wants to get hit one or two times before the season starts.

“There’s often times I ask him, ‘Hey, do you want to do this?’ And he says, ‘Yes.’ So then it’s on us to know he’s usually going to say yes to a lot of things,” Taylor said. “So we’ll do our best to pull him back when we feel it’s necessary just like anybody coming off an ACL.”

There have been a few times when Taylor let Brandon Allen take first team reps.

“There’s just some stuff to take off his plate right now,” he said. “So certain types of plays, if there’s not a lot required of the quarterback other than handing the ball off, that’s the time we’ve thrown him out.”

Most doctors would probably say that the owner of the knee in question should be the one making decisions. But Taylor is aware of Burrow’s competitive nature, and wary that the quarterback might push himself too far.