There’s been plenty of hype surrounding Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow this offseason for a couple of reasons.
The most obvious reason is because of what Burrow accomplished last season by leading the Bengals on an improbable run to the Super Bowl.
Cincinnati was viewed as a fringe playoff team at best last year. A Super Bowl run was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
The assumption for 2022 is that Burrow will pick up where he left off last season.
The other reason there’s been some hype around Burrow this offseason is because it was supposed to be the third-year quarterback’s first “normal” offseason since entering the NFL in 2020.
As a rookie, Burrow’s entire offseason was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meetings were virtual, there were no rookie minicamps or OTAs. It was the worst situation possible for a rookie quarterback.
Last year, Burrow was recovering from the torn ACL he suffered as a rookie in 2020.
That meant that instead of working out with teammates during the winter, he was busy rehabbing. He was also eased back into action last summer during training camp.
Fast forward to 2022 and it’s another less-than-ideal training camp for Burrow.
The former LSU quarterback underwent surgery to remove his appendix shortly after reporting to training camp. As a result, he’s been reduced to being a spectator at practice (for now). Burrow will be back on the field soon, but he’s still missing valuable reps.
Burrow is mature beyond his years. He’s putting in mental reps and continuing to get better as best he can while he’s limited. If any young quarterback can thrive in this situation, it’s him. But there’s no substitute for live practice reps. And Burrow is still a young quarterback that is nowhere close to his ceiling.
The deal with Burrow’s appendix isn’t going to have a major impact on him this season. And I don’t think the missed practice time will hurt him or the Bengals. But it’s just another offseason where Burrow doesn’t get the same advantages as many of the NFL’s other quarterbacks.
Eventually, Burrow will quit having to deal with various annoyances during training camp. And when he does, he’s going to take another massive step forward as a quarterback.
If he’s this good now, just wait until he really gets settled into the NFL.
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK