Bengals QB Joe Burrow confident he'll be ready for comeback at start of 2021 NFL season

Joe Burrow’s minicamp is in the books.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told the team after Tuesday’s first minicamp session that players have the rest of minicamp off, which means the Bengals are on break until training camp.

The Bengals' quarterback spoke to media members following Tuesday’s practice and provided an updated on his surgically repaired left knee.

“Good. Really good,” Burrow said. “Happy with where it’s at. Still got a ways to go. Still got about three months left for the rehab. But I’ll be ready to go for the season as long as there’s no setbacks. Right now, it’s looking good.”

Burrow declared during OTAs last month that his left knee is about 85%. He said on Tuesday that his knee was around the same percentage.

“About the same. We were still working that rehab throughout the whole offseason, meaning throughout OTAs,” Burrow said, “but couldn’t do as much as usual just because of practice, fatigue, all that. So we’ll ramp that back up now and get back to 100% before camp.”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) scrambles during a mini camp practice inside of Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) scrambles during a mini camp practice inside of Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

On Wednesday, Burrow will reach the 28-week post-operation mark. The prognosis for his type of injury is nine to 12 months.

Seven months into rehab, Burrow is still on track to be available for the season-opener on Sept. 12 against the Minnesota Vikings.

During OTAs and minicamp, Burrow went through drills with a protective brace surrounding his left knee. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft tossed several short and intermediate passes to receivers and tight ends, and he heaved some long balls over 40 yards. He ran cautiously, did some dropback passes and ran some naked bootlegs.

The Bengals monitored Burrow closely during all drills at OTAs and minicamp. The club was very protective of the quarterback and made sure there was no traffic around Burrow when he participated in drills. Understandably, the team didn’t want Burrow’s legs to get tangled up with another player.

Taylor and the Bengals' staff were pleased with what they saw from their starting quarterback during OTAs and Tuesday's minicamp.

“Certainly, very guarded in our approach there. I think he's done a great job," Taylor said of Burrow. "He looks good, certainly not all the way there yet, so there's still a process we have to follow leading into training camp, but you guys have been out there. I think everybody's optimistic.

"I think he really enjoyed getting out there. It was probably good for him to get the jersey on, put the helmet back on and get in the huddle and call plays, just to be able to throw the ball and see coverages in 7-on-7, so I would say – obviously, I didn't want to make any predictions before the offseason program, but he's in a really good spot.”

Training camp is scheduled to get underway for the Bengals on July 27. From now until the Bengals report to camp, Burrow will continue to rehab his left knee and simultaneously work on his overall body strength.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow: I'll be ready to go for '21 NFL season