The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-2, and quarterback Joe Burrow, the NFL's latest highest-paid player after signing a five-year, $275 million contract extension on Sept. 9, is struggling to look like his normal self after aggravating a preseason calf injury. As for if he will suit up in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night, that remains to be seen.
"Feeling better. Not as sore. Time heals. So we'll see," Burrow told reporters about his calf injury on Thursday, per The Athletic. When asked if he could play, he responded with, "We'll see."
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor couldn't provide a firm update on Burrow's Week 3 status for the Super Bowl rematch either.
"Yeah, it's hard for me to say right now," Taylor said Monday. "He did it really one of the last three plays of the game, probably. So, just sore. We haven't done anything on the field yet."
Burrow, who's still considered day-to-day, missed Thursday's practice. Taylor said it would be "ideal" if his quarterback got in a practice before the Monday night contest, per NFL Media.
Burrow was seen limping late in Cincy's 27-24 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but he did not miss a snap. He was seen limping one play before throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tee Higgins with 3:28 left in the game. The Bengals did not get the ball back the rest of the game. Taylor clarified that he would have sent Burrow back out on the field had his offense been given one last drive.
In the lead-up to the Week 2 loss against the Ravens, Taylor said he "felt really good" about Burrow's health prior to his re-aggravation.
"I thought he had a great week of practice last week," Taylor said. "Only he's the one that can answer on how he truly feels, but you'd gotten the sense that it was really good."
The 26-year-old quarterback first strained his calf in training camp at the end of July and missed most of camp and the entire preseason. The injury clearly has clearly had an effect on Burrow's play so far in 2023. Without the ability to put as much of his lower body into this throws, Burrow can't connect on his patented deep ball. He is 0 for 12 on throws of 15 or more air yards this season. He is 0 for 8 to receiver Tee Higgins, 0 for 3 to Chase and 0 for 1 to tight end Irv Smith Jr. This is unprecedented for Burrow, as he only had one game without a completion of 15 or more air yards in his first 42 career starts. Now, he has done so in consecutive games. Across the last two seasons, Burrow led the NFL with 27 passing touchdowns of 15 or more air yards.
Joe Burrow passing on throws of 15+ air yards (last 3 seasons)
0% (0-12, last in NFL)
0-1 (T-last in NFL)
|Passer Rating||117.1 (1st)||4.9 (30th)|
*Most passing touchdowns on throws of 15+ air yards from 2021-22
As for if the Bengals could consider, Taylor said the team hasn't quite crossed that bridge just yet.
"I think, first of all, we've have to hear what the doctors have to say before we start to assume anything," Taylor said. "So once we have that information, we'll figure out what we have to do."
The next two options on the Bengals roster if Burrow does miss time would be