With all the hype surrounding Joe Burrow’s return to the field, it’s easy to forget that while he’s the Bengals’ starting quarterback, he’s not their only important offensive player. Right now the Bengals are a team with a lot of question marks, both in the front seven and on offense. A.J. Green’s status for Week One is in doubt, and while John Ross and Tyler Boyd have both earned the “rookie of the year” label, neither has shown that can contribute consistently on offense (no matter how loudly Ross’ mom might scream about that one rookie he blocked). With Andy Dalton’s weapons lacking, and the offensive line missing
Ohio State plans to stay on the offensive this spring, and the key to their success will be the return of quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow, who has undergone three procedures on his left knee since last season, is hoping to return in time to be the starter in the season opener against Florida State on Aug. 31. He’s been cleared to participate in non-contact drills, but hasn’t been able to participate in contact drills due to the pain.
Week 1 of the NFL season is finally over, and the Cincinnati Bengals are at least a little bit better off than where they were last season. It took some luck, but the Bengals pulled out a Week 1 win against the Baltimore Ravens, and that’s a good start for a team that didn’t look particularly fantastic at any point last season. However, the Bengals’ Week 1 performance doesn’t tell the full story. The Bengals didn’t play well, and they were fortunate. That said, the Bengals will likely improve this season in a few different areas.
In 2020, the Cincinnati Bengals have hope for the first time in a long time. The team has not made the playoffs since 2015 and has not won in the playoffs since 1990. But by picking Joe Barrow as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, Bengals fans have hope of returning to heights they haven’t seen in Cincinnati since Boomer Esiason/Ikki Woods. That hope was quickly replaced by despair when Burrow injured his knee and was out for the entire year. Now, in 2021, it looks like Barrow will return healthy from his injury to start the year, but the key to the Bengals’ new season is actually another Bengal returning from a similar injury.
Joe Barrow returns after devastating knee injury
Joe Barrow and Jonah Williams Burrow began his college career at Ohio State, but after the Bucs lost the starting job to Dwayne Haskins, he transferred to LSU. At Louisiana, Burrow had a monster performance in his final season (5,670 yards, 60 touchdowns, six interceptions, 76.3 completion percentage) as a national champion and Heisman Trophy winner. Burrow, who was drafted by his hometown Bengals, began his professional career where he left off in college. In his short rookie season, he had a total of 2,688 yards, 13 TDs, five INTs and a 65.3% completion rate in nine and a half games. These stats allow him to break several NFL rookie pass records. What’s worse, Burrow said, is that he thinks the team was just beginning to form when the injury occurred. The prognosis for Burrow after surgery and rehabilitation is very favorable, and it looks like he will be back to full duty by early 2021. The Bengals’ other player has also recovered from a knee injury and could be even more important to the Bengals’ success in 2021.
The key to the Bengals’ success will be Jonah Williams and theoffensive line.
Bengals OT Jonah Williams talks about the team’s decision to keep him at left back this season. I take it very seriously. I want to prove the team right and do everything I can to become a good left back. – Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) 1 June 2021 Cincinnati selected offensive guard John Williams at No. 11 in the 2019 draft. Williams tore his eardrum in OTAs before his rookie season and tore his medial collateral ligament in Week 13 of the 2020 season. Like Burrow, he’s going into the new season feeling good, which is good news for Bengals fans. I feel good, better than ever, Williams told The Athletic. Last year was really bad. But I saw this off-season as a chance to get my body in shape and get stronger than ever. During the off-season, the team focused on improving the entire line. They got Riley Reiff from the Minnesota Vikings and re-contracted Quinton Spaine, who made the team mid-season after being fired by the Buffalo Bills. They also took three linebackers in the selection: Clemson quarterback Jackson Carman (No. 46), East Carolina quarterback D’Ante Smith (No. 139) and Georgia center Trey Hill (No. 190). This group is the key to the Bengals’ success in 2021. The most obvious reason why the defensive line is so important is that it should protect Cincinnati’s $36 million investment in Barrow better than it did last year. The offense as a whole struggled last year, with the exception of Burrow’s exploits, but that has a lot to do with the big men on offense. The team ranks 27th in passing yards, 24th in passing yards, 29th in scoring and 30th in yards per game with 4.9 in 2020. Cincinnati has a lot of weapons at the skill position right now, and if Barrow gets back in shape, he could be a great quarterback. If the offensive line can play better, the Bengals have a chance to climb out of the AFC North basement.
Several other key Bengals also return from injuries in 2021
Last year, the Bengals were hit hard by injuries. Barrow and Williams aren’t the only ones returning to action in 2021. Four other starters return after injuries ended their 2021 seasons. That group includes running back Joe Mixon, fullback D.J. Reeder, tight end C.J. Uzoma and cornerback Trae Waynes. Reeder and Mixon had good games with Burrow in the first year, so their return should help the offense. With Burrow, Williams, Mixon and Uzomah returning, as well as an upgrade to the line and the acquisition of Burrow’s former LSU teammate, WR Ja’Marr Chase, at No. 5, the Bengals’ offense has a real chance at the top tier. If, and only if, Williams and the defensive line can protect Burrow this year. All statistics are from Pro Football ReferenceandSports Reference CORRESPONDS TO: Joe Barrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have major injury news for the $36 million QBIt may be hard to believe, but the Cincinnati Bengals are still searching for their first playoff win and first winning season in nearly a decade. After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots in last year’s playoffs, the Bengals made some surprising changes to the team, including trading away their starting quarterback, AJ McCarron, and making a controversial free agent acquisition—a player who was once cut because he played behind a backup quarterback.. Read more about joe burrow update and let us know what you think.
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