Nobody – from the top of the organization to the janitorial closet in the practice facility – means as much to the Cincinnati Bengals as Joe Burrow. Entering his third season as a professional, Burrow brings more to the table than a wickedly talented arm. The face of the franchise brought success and swagger from LSU to the NFL from the moment the Bengals selected him No. 1 overall in 2020.
However, news broke on Tuesday morning that Joe Burrow would require an emergency appendectomy. On Wednesday, head coach Zac Taylor addressed the blossoming absence on the first day of training camp. While Taylor offers that the surgery was successful, the coach couldn’t provide an accurate timetable for a return.
While Taylor shared that the hospital would discharge the quarterback today, the team wants to ensure a full recovery before the season begins. But the looming hiatus doesn’t concern Taylor, who points to Burrow’s two seasons in the system. The head coach says, “He’s seen it. He’ll still have his iPad. He’ll still follow whenever he’s in meetings. We don’t expect him to miss a step mentally that way.”
Taylor previously lauded Burrow’s work ethic, leadership and preparation after minicamp. With a potential absence on the horizon, the head coach’s commitment to that statement hasn’t wavered.
“I’m sure he’d love to have all the physical reps that he could possibly get, but he won’t be behind the 8-ball at all based on what happens,” Taylor said.
Joe Burrow’s Rise to Prominence and Dominance Places Target on Bengals’ Back in 2022
Zac Taylor knows. And so does Joe Burrow. Last season, the NFL scene witnessed the meteoric rise of the Cincinnati Bengals – all the way to Super Bowl LVI. Now, the rest of the AFC prays on the franchise’s downfall. To the head coach, this means a Lamar Hunt Trophy-sized target on the team’s back.
But the road to redemption is incredibly more challenging for Cincinnati in 2022. No longer benefitting from a fourth-place schedule, the Bengals need a healthy Joe Burrow in order to remain atop a competitive conference. Even if the AFC North is considerably weaker than a season ago, the division is akin to the Big Ten: beating each other up so badly that nobody succeeds in the playoffs.