We just passed the one-year anniversary of the 2020 NFL combine, which finished last March 2, not long before the nation’s sporting events – and just about everything else – was put on pause due to Covid.
Joe Burrow, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, was among the future NFL draft picks with the biggest microscopes following him around in Indianapolis, even though he didn’t work out. His main challenge there were the interviews with NFL teams.
A year later, Burrow is facing a different sort of challenge as he continues his recovery from a severe mid-season knee injury that ended his 2020 rookie season in the 10th game against Washington last November.
Despite the shortened season, Burrow still finished his rookie campaign with 2,688 passing yards on 65.3% passing with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, the Bengals going 2-7-1 during his 10 starts. He drew wide praise for his poise and maturity, not to mention his play, as a starting rookie quarterback.
His 268.8 passing yards per game are the most ever for a Heisman rookie while his completion percentage is the best for a Heisman rookie QB since Robert Griffin III (65.6) in 2012.
Burrow has been rehabbing his knee since his December reconstructive surgery – some 14 weeks ago — and appears on schedule to return at or near the start of the 2021 season. He is doing his rehab in Cincinnati with his personal trainer.
On Wednesday, the Bengals shared optimism for his healthy return later this year.
“I know that he’s on pace to do all the things that we were hoping he’d do,” Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor told media on Wednesday.
The Bengals Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin echoed the optimism.
“The good news is with Joe, what I’ve seen around here is he’s attacking it full speed and looks great and so it’s been very positive seeing him fight back,” Tobin said. “It looks very positive for the future and for this coming season for Joe.”
The Bengals finished 2020 at 4-11-1, a solid improvement from 2019. With Burrow back, the Bengals look to continue the upswing.