The Cincinnati Bengals were more than happy to have their starting quarterback Joe Burrow return to practice for the first time since his appendectomy before training camp. This is a huge step for him being ready to play by Week 1 of the regular season.
Head coach Zac Taylor also gave reporters an update on his franchise quarterback after practice.
“I thought he looked good. It was good to get him involved. He did some individual [drills]. He did some 7-on-7 [drills]. It’s a good step in the right direction.”
The next reasonable step on everyone’s mind is how close is he to actually stepping foot on the field, but obviously Taylor isn’t ready to put any sort of timetable on this process. He has avoided that very well through this whole process.
“We are just taking it day-to-day right now, so it was a good start today,” Taylor said. “I do know that he is feeling better every single day. We have a plan to start to ease him back into practice. This was phase one of that.”
One thing Taylor was able to update us on was the state of his quarterback’s conditioning. Some people may doubt that after recovering from his appendix being removed that Burrow’s conditioning may need some work. Taylor doesn’t share that concern. Clearly doing his sprints in his cart has kept him up to date in that category.
“I think he has done a pretty good job of [conditioning]. That is something he has been doing the past week is running, and I think he always does a good job of taking care of himself? I think he is in pretty good shape.”
It really is more of a testament to how much of a competitor that Burrow is that there isn’t a doubt about his conditioning following his surgery. This is the same guy who has proven time and time again that he will do anything humanly possible to get back on that field.
It also isn’t surprising that Burrow’s return has gotten the rest of his team excited.
“It does. It certainly does.” Taylor said. “When you add your starting quarterback back in the mix — someone who is as impactful as Joe is — it absolutely adds energy to the team.”
We all know what Burrow means to this team. There is no way you could have put any other quarterback on this roster last season and they make it to the Super Bowl. It is the stuff you can’t quantify with him that lifts everyone on this team with just his presence.
Anyone that doubted or that is still worried that Burrow will be ready for the start of the regular season should let that go now. We likely won’t see much or any of him in the preseason, but that is okay as long as we have a healthy No. 9 under center Week 1.