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Joe Burrow absent from Bengals’ OTAs: Zac Taylor explains reason behind keeping QB out of Tuesday session

Cincinnati fans breathed a sigh of relief upon learning why Joe Burrow wasn’t on the field for the start of the third and final week of Bengals OTAs. 

Following the session, head coach Zac Taylor said he gave Burrow a scheduled day off. Taylor said that Burrow — who underwent season-ending wrist surgery last November — is scheduled to have a day off each week so that he doesn’t push himself too hard. 

“Sometimes, the players will push themselves because they’re pro athletes, and that’s their mindset and that’s what’s made Joe so great,” Taylor said Tuesday. “It’s my job as a head coach to make some decisions to be helpful there.”

Taylor said that Burrow was receptive upon being informed that he was getting the day off. 

“He knows when it’s up for discussion and [when] it’s not,” Taylor said. “I think he knows that we’re doing the right thing.” 

Burrow had been a regular at the team’s voluntary workouts prior to Tuesday. He spoke openly about the recovery process during the first week of OTAs. 

“The wrist has good days and bad days, just like the knee did,” Burrow said at the time, via the Athletic. “We’re still pretty early, we’ve still got a ways until the season, so we’re going to make sure we give it the breaks that it needs. We’re going to be smart about it, but on the days that I’m feeling good we’re going to go.”

The 2023 season was the second time that Burrow has not been able to complete a campaign. He missed the final seven games of his rookie season (in 2020) after tearing his ACL and MCL in his left knee. In the summer of 2022, Burrow underwent surgery after his appendix ruptured. A year later, during the opening day of Bengals training camp, Burrow suffered a calf strain that sidelined him for the majority of camp (and all of the preseason). 

Burrow’s preseason injuries in 2022 and 2023 led to slow starts for both himself and the Bengals. Cincinnati has started 0-2 each of the past two seasons largely because of subpar offensive play. Burrow and the Bengals rallied to get to within a game of the Super Bowl in 2022 and finished last year with a 9-8 record despite Burrow missing the season’s final seven games. 

When healthy, Burrow has proven to be one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. He led the NFL in passing prior to his season-ending injury as a rookie. The following year, Burrow won Comeback Player of the Year honors while becoming the only quarterback not named Tom Brady to beat Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs. The Bengals then came up just short of defeating the Rams in Super Bowl LVI. 

In 2022, Burrow was named to his first Pro Bowl and finished fourth in the league’s MVP voting while guiding the Bengals to a second straight AFC Championship game appearance. Burrow was playing at a high level last season before suffering the season-ending wrist injury. 

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Author: Bryan DeArdo
June 4, 2024 | 2:00 pm

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