Joe Burrow has campaigned to play this preseason, and it appears as if the Cincinnati Bengals are granting him his wish.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor announced Wednesday that Burrow will receive a "limited number" of snaps on Sunday in the team's exhibition finale against the Miami Dolphins.
This will be the first time Burrow sees the field in 280 days. He suffered a torn ACL and MCL last November against the Washington Football Team. Burrow did not play in the Bengals' first two preseason games.
But Burrow has been lobbying to play in the preseason. His practice performances have been up and down this summer, according to local reports, including a three-pick session on Sunday.
There's also the matter of first-round pick Ja'Marr Chase struggling with drops and starting center Trey Hopkins also working his way back from a torn ACL.
But earlier this week Taylor said that Burrow and Hopkins are on track to be fine for the Week 1 opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
“They’ve shown us enough to know that they’re gonna be ready to play (against the Vikings),” Taylor said.
Is this a good idea for Joe Burrow?
In spite of the team's 2-7-1 record with Burrow under center as a rookie, he turned in a solid first NFL season. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft completed 264 of 404 passes (65.3%) for 2,688 yards with 13 TDs and five picks in his 10 starts. He also ran 37 times for 142 yards and three scores.
The Bengals' other quarterbacks last season combined to complete 107 of 174 passes (61.5%) for 1,089 yards, six TDs, six picks and one rushing score.
But because of Burrow's slow start in camp, he felt he needed more live reps to get his timing down for the regular season. And Taylor and his staff clearly agreed.
There's a risk, however. The biggest worry is Burrow's pass protection. He took 32 sacks in those 10 starts, and the Bengals bypassed offensive tackle Penei Sewell with their first selection in order to select Chase.
Burrow also can stand to better protect himself, starting with Sunday's game. The Bengals can't afford to see him get hurt again and certainly not before the games matter.
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