The early portion of the NFL offseason will be full of rehab for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. The 27-year old QB missed the final 7 games of the 2023 season with a wrist injury that required season-ending surgery.
It’s the latest injury that has impacted Burrow’s young career in Cincinnati, and one that has a former NFL QB Joe Theismann greatly worried. Theismann knows all too well about suffering injuries as a quarterback.
His esteemed playing career was cut short when Hall of Fame edge defender Lawrence Taylor sacked him, causing a career-ending leg injury at the age of 36. Nearly 40 years later, Theismann finds himself a big fan of Burrow, and concerned over what’s already happened with the face of the Bengals.
“Some way, some shape, he’s got to figure out a way to stay healthy,” Theismann said of the Bengals’ QB. “Now sometimes it’s just fluke injuries.”
“Sometimes you don’t know as a quarterback, whether it’s a thumb, whether it’s a wrist, you know, you’re gonna hit something, you’re gonna fall on something and hopefully you can get through it. But in Joe’s case, they’ve been major injuries that have set him back.
“We’ve seen one year of Joe Burrow. We’ve seen, of the four years he’s been in the league, we’ve seen one year of an incredible talent.”
It’s true that Burrow’s career thus far has been sandwiched between two season-ending injuries, but Theismann incorrectly stated Burrow has only played one full season.
He was healthy for all of 2021 (the year the Bengals went to the Super Bowl!) and did not play in the regular season finale along with many other starters on that roster due to their playoff seed being finalized the week prior. That wasn’t the only thing Theismann said that deserves pause.
“I know he’s gonna come back,” Theismann said. “It’s gonna be a couple months before he really gets to do anything—probably about four or five months before he really gets to throw again, start lifting weights.”
“But, once again, this is what you have to assume: Joe Burrow is not going to be a part of training camp again.” Excuse me? Burrow had his surgery at the end of November.
Initial reports of his recovery time stated it would be about 4-6 months. Six months from the end of November would be the end of May. During his end of season press conference, Burrow said he thinks he should be good by OTAs, but also it’s too early to tell. The Bengals began their OTAs on June 5 last year.
NFL training camps all begin at about the same time in late July, so how in the world does Theismann believe Burrow will not only miss the start of training camp, he will not be a part of training camp at all?
Unless the Bengals break NFL rules and begin training camp in May or June, this is a ridiculous assumption for Theismann to make—unprompted I might add!
Theismann has earned ample respect for his playing career and recovering from a devastating injury, but he’s got to get his facts straight before spouting baseless assumptions over the airways.