Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow gives update on surgically repaired knee

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CINCINNATI – Joe Burrow is beyond the halfway point of his left knee recovery process.

The Cincinnati Bengals second-year quarterback participated in Tuesday’s organized team activities – the first time Burrow practiced during media availability since his rookie season ended prematurely in Week 11 of last year following a torn ACL.

Burrow wore a helmet, an orange quarterback jersey, shorts and had a knee brace to protect his surgically repaired left knee. He didn’t take snaps under center, but the quarterback did operate out of shot gun and delivered passes to Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, rookie Ja’Marr Chase and other skill position players.

“It was good. It felt really good today. I’m optimistic,” Burrow said following Tuesday’s OTA session.

Coach Zac Taylor and the Bengals had full attendance during Tuesday's voluntary workout. Burrow, running back Joe Mixon, defensive tackle D.J. Reader, cornerback Trae Waynes and other key players that ended last year on injured reserve were all participating in some capacity.

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There was a sense of excitement on the practice field for the new-look Bengals, and most of the enthusiasm centered around the 2020 No. 1 overall pick.

“It was the first time I really got to see him do that stuff, so it was really exciting for me as a coach,” Taylor said. “I know he’s been doing it a lot and he feels really comfortable with that stuff. It’s good for the spirit of the team to see him back out there. We haven’t seen him practice in a long time. That was a good sign for today.”

Tuesday was an encouraging sign for Burrow’s main objective: Return by Week 1. He did moderate running and threw some short crisp passes to receivers without concern.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) drops back to throw during the first day of Cincinnati Bengals OTAs at the Paul Brown Stadium practice field in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) drops back to throw during the first day of Cincinnati Bengals OTAs at the Paul Brown Stadium practice field in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

“(My knee) is about 80 to 85% now. We had some strength tests done, and all that showed about 85% compared to the right leg, so we’re on pace,” Burrow said. “We’re looking really good. Just got to keep strengthening it. There are not a lot of things that I can’t do. It’s just getting it stronger.”

Burrow echoed the same sentiments as his knee surgeon, Neal ElAttrache. Ever since Burrow's Dec. 2, knee procedure, the quarterback has been adamant about returning by opening day this September. However on Tuesday, he didn’t rule out being full-go by training camp.

The prognosis for Burrow’s type of knee injury is generally a nine-to12 month recovery, and Burrow is six months into his rehab. The regular season starts Sept. 12 against the Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium.

“At this point, I’m doing everything. The next one is just to get cleared for football activities and contact. That will be around nine months,” Burrow said.

Burrow hits 25 weeks post-operation Wednesday. There are still a few more hurdles in his recovery process, but he’s certainly rounding the corner and the finish line is within sight.

“Still got to be patient. Can’t push too hard. At this point it’s still how it feels, there are still good days and bad days. It’s still sore somedays and so you will take it a little easy and somedays it feels really good and you’ll push it really hard. But we have a good plan,” Burrow said.

“I have a good team around me that is helping me get back.”

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow updates knee recovery