Injuries and a pandemic have defined the first three offseasons of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s career.
Whether he was coming back from a torn ACL, starting training camp with an appendectomy, or beginning his NFL life over Zoom in a quarantined America, Burrow hasn’t experienced a traditional lead up to a season yet.
With just under four months until Week 1 arrives, Burrow’s got hope that normalcy will win out this time. Knock on wood if you need to.
Instead of working back to full strength and getting on the same page with his teammates, Burrow will look to make needed improvements during the grind of training camp instead of rushing to get back to normal like the last two years have shown.
“Yeah, I mean, having a full offseason and a full training camp is so beneficial in so many ways and it’s just not really something that I’ve had yet,” Burrow said during his first press conference of the offseason. “So I’m excited to hopefully have that this year and be able to make those strides in camp whereas last year, I was just trying to get back to where I was pre camp. So I’m excited to find that improvement during those four to six weeks when haven’t really had that yet.”
A healthy Burrow during July and August could be what solves the Bengals’ biggest problems of the last two seasons. The team was a combined 9-7 during the first eight games of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Sluggish starts in both years that ended in AFC North division championships may’ve been the difference between clinching the fourth and third seeds, and securing home field advantage at least once.
Burrow being 100% healthy for Week 1 is always going to be paramount, no matter if a trend is in need of breaking. The 26-year old’s process is also reaching a point of comfort that comes with experience.
“I’m getting the hang of what my what I want my offseason to look like what what I want my routine to look like, what I want my my body to feel like going into camp,” Burrow said. “It’s becoming more aware of my training my body, how my arm is feeling how my knees are feeling. You know, we’re evolving every year to try to make myself feel better”.
Fingers crossed Burrow will experience what an offseason should really feel like this time around.
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