The Cincinnati Bengals were again without quarterback Joe Burrow for the vast majority of training camp. He suffered a calf strain that caused him to miss a few weeks (roughly five).
There were doubts whether he would be available in Week 1, but the man himself just confirmed he will play against the Cleveland Browns.
“I’m ready to go,” Burrow told reporters during Wednesday’s press conference. “We’re going to see how these next couple of days play out, because you never know with these things, but I’m expecting to play.”
The Bengals will look to have a better start than their 0-2 start last season. The Browns have been a particular thorn in the Bengals’ side during the Burrow era. He got his first win against them near the end of last year, but it is fair to say that despite Cincinnati being a top AFC contender, Cleveland has had their number.
This gives Burrow another chance to prove this team is beyond that mental hurdle to start off what should be a very heated AFC race on the right foot. This early division game could mean quite a bit at the end of the year, so here is hoping Burrow doesn’t have too much rust to brush off.
Joe Burrow explains why football comes before business “This is where I want to be. This where I want to be my whole career.” pic.twitter.com/iH9EH893fF— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 6, 2023
As far as the ongoing contract negotiation, Burrow also added it was “the last thing on his mind.”
Burrow also made it clear this is where he wants to spend his entire NFL career.
“This is where I want to be my whole career,” Burrow said. “We’re working toward making that happen.”
You can speculate on what that means for where it is currently at, but it really can be taken however you want it to. What is for sure is that he is locked into playing Week 1 and being the best player he can be.
Burrow also discussed getting help from NFL great Tom Brady.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow on @TomBrady: "We've stayed in contact. He's helped me some, he definitely has. That's what all the great quarterbacks do across time. ... I'm appreciative to him for that."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 6, 2023
Burrow is looking to follow in the footsteps of Brady, who helped the New England Patriots win their first Super Bowl before going on to win several more. Here’s to hoping that’s exactly what Burrow does with the Bengals.