Joe Burrow participates in Day 1 of Bengals OTAs

The Bengals began organized team activities with full attendance. All eyes were on one player in particular.

Joe Burrow participated in passing drills, marking his first on-field activity with the team since tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee last November. Per beat writers on the scene, the second-year QB did not take snaps from under center and was limited to shorter throws.

That Burrow was able to drop back and plant on his left leg was a welcome sight nonetheless. It backed up his prior assertion that he is "ahead of schedule" in his rehab and expects to be ready for the season opener. His knee injury derailed a stellar rookie campaign, which saw Burrow complete 65.3% of his throws for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions.

Burrow said after the session that he felt "optimistic" and that his knee felt "really good" and was at about "85%" strength. The Bengals QB added, "I always expected to be ready (for Week 1). We've still got a couple months to go. Get a little stronger, get a little bigger, but we're on a good path."

Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor wouldn't commit to playing Burrow in the preseason, noting he will operate strictly from empty sets in OTAs. Tuesday's light workout also provided Taylor with an up-close look at his QB connecting with former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase. The two won a national title together and earned All-America honors during a record-breaking 2019 season. One year after selecting Burrow No. 1, the Bengals took Chase with the fifth overall pick.

Running back Joe Mixon was "full-go" in his long-awaited return to the practice field. After notching consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and signing a lucrative extension, he was sidelined for the final 10 games of 2020 with a foot injury.

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