In the aftermath of his promising rookie campaign being curtailed by a torn ACL, Joe Burrow is anxious to get back on the field.
That excitement to return includes an urge to play in the preseason for Burrow, who expressed just that desire a day after Bengals owner Mike Brown said the 2020 No. 1 overall pick "probably" would not play in any of any of Cincinnati's preseason tilts.
"We'll have that discussion with [head coach] Zac [Taylor] and ownership," Burrow told reporters in Wednesday's news conference. "I'd like to go out there and feel the rush at least a couple times. Don't have to play the full game, but I would like to get out there a little bit."
On the comeback trail from an injury suffered in Week 11 of last season, Burrow wants to get back on the field and get a feel for live competition.
When asked if there were any "magic words" Burrow could say to Taylor to convince the coach to let the QB play in the preseason, Taylor chuckled.
"Uh, no," Taylor said.
However, Taylor didn't slam the door shut on the proposition and indicated it was a topic that the team would revisit throughout the preseason.
"Again, we'll look at everything, every scenario that would be what would we gain out of it?" Taylor said. "If we're gonna put him out there, what exactly is that gonna look like where we can control it or not control it. Again, we don't have to make that decision today. We can see how the weeks go. There will be a lot of thought that goes into that process and we will make certain that he's ready to play Week 1 against Minnesota."
The 2020 NFL Draft's top selection, Burrow followed up a sensational senior season at LSU with a terrific start to his rookie year, stringing together three straight 300-yard games at one point and throwing for more than 300 yards in five games. It all came crashing down when Burrow was carted off the field against the host Washington Football Team on Sept. 22, 2020.
Burrow said he's still finding time to rehab, but believes he's just about fully recovered.
"I'm just about 100%," Burrow said. "Feeling great, still getting stronger in my legs. Going to continue to lift throughout camp, keep getting stronger, so I just feel great going into Week 1."
Burrow noted he'd previously experienced some hesitance with his knee working out, but that's dissipated.
"There's no football movements that give me any issues right now, so I feel confident going into the season," Burrow said.
It's clear the focus is on Burrow being ready to kick off the season with his Bengals against the Vikings on Sept. 12, but preseason games against the Buccaneers (Aug. 14), a very familiar Washington Football Team (Aug. 20) and the Dolphins (Aug. 29) will bring with them more anticipation as Taylor and Brown take the cautious approach and Burrow pines to get back on the field.
There's still a ways to go and for now, Burrow was just happy to be back at camp.
"Just another day at the office. Ready to get it going, feels good to be back. Been out too long," he said.
Training camp is finally here! Be sure to check outNFL Network's extensive live coverage, including Inside Training Camp every day and highlighted by Training Camp: Back Together Saturday Fueled by Gatorade on July 31.