A year ago, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was only a couple of months into his recovery from a torn ACL. He spent most of that rehab time in Los Angeles, where he will find himself soon playing in Super Bowl 56.
But he wasn’t alone in Southern California last year. Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth was also rehabbing from a knee injury that cost him playing time in 2020. The team doctor for the Rams, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is the same surgeon that performed Burrow’s operation.
ElAttrache helped both players recover at their own pace, and Burrow remembers the impact Whitworth had on him during that time.
“When I got hurt, I lived about 40 minutes from where he was living, and we were both hurt at the same time,” Burrow told reporters Monday morning. “So I would go over to his house and watch the games on Sunday. I spent my birthday at his house, and I also spent his birthday at his house, so that was a cool thing that he did for me. Reaching out to me and making the rehab process a little easier for me being in California away from a lot of people that are close to me. He took me in... he’s become a good friend.”
Whitworth isn’t just a former Bengal, he’s a former Bayou Bengal as well. Two LSU greats a mere 15 years apart ending up in the same place at the same time is a pretty cool story, and it shows the type of person Whitworth still is long after his time in Cincinnati came to an end.
Only a handful of Bengals have played with the now 40-year-old left tackle, including tight end C.J. Uzomah, wide receiver Tyler Boyd, and punter Kevin Huber. Obviously Burrow never got to play with Whitworth, but it is cool that they have a connection entering this game.