What has the Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow been sharing with New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers?
The Bengals QB has struggled with a calf injury and has now found a reference point in another star QB who previously did the same, Aaron Rodgers.
With one continuing to fight for full fitness, and the other seemingly sidelined for the remainder of the season, it kind of makes sense that they might be able to find perspective in each other. The question now is can the Bengals quarterback get back to his best with the team still not firing on all cylinders?
Aaron Rodgers respects Joe Burrow
You may recall that during a recent appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show, Aaron Rodgers disclosed that he had actually reached out to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow after watching him play through a right calf injury during the team’s 19-16 win against the Los Angeles Rams. With a heavily bandaged leg, a less-than-mobile Burrow went on to throw 49 passes in the team’s first win of the season, which took its record to 1-2. “For him to tough it out, I don’t think that people realize how much pain and limited mobility he was in,” Rodgers said. “But for him to gut it out last night and to make enough plays to win, like I texted him, that’s what great competitors do. They show up and play through the pain and don’t make it a big deal.”
For his part, Burrow explained post-game what his thinking was regarding the risks involved. “There is risk to go out there and potentially re-injure it, but there’s also a risk to go out there and be 0-3,” he said. “So I wanted to be out there for my guys, and I was confident I was going to be able to do what I needed to do to get the win.”
Joe Burrow looked to Aaron Rodgers for perspective
If you missed it, Burrow first suffered the injury during the very first week of training camp. Though he would return to practice in late July - a month later - he would go on to re-aggravate the injury during the Bengals’ Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, which in turn is what led to the bandaging in the above-mentioned win over the Rams. This is to say, it’s been some time now that Burrow has had to deal with his problematic calf and that’s precisely why he’s been sharing with Aaron Rodgers who has had extensive experience with calf issues.
“He’s dealt with calf issues his whole career and wanted to use him as a resource and get his thoughts, what he might have done,” said Burrow, who explained that he’s taken Rodgers’ words to heart. “He’s been through it, done that. And he was great about it.” As for where Burrow is at now, it’s understood that the 26-year-old was present for Wednesday’s walk-through which is certainly good news, however, this is no longer just about Burrow. At 1-2 the Bengals have very little margin for error. Indeed, that’s something that offensive coordinator Brian Callahan spoke directly to on Wednesday as he explained that regardless of whether Burrow is on the field or not, the offense must do better, though he did acknowledge that Burrow’s situation does have an impact on the team. “There’s a minor limitation that we got to work around, and that’s just what it is for the foreseeable future,” Callahan said.
So, where do Burrow and the Bengals go from here?
One interesting thing to note is that Burrow has considered the effect that the injury could have on his throwing mechanics. Indeed, the signal caller explained that he had initially stopped throwing entirely in the immediate period following the injury back in July, so as not to affect his mechanics in any way. Aware that the pain he felt when placing pressure on the calf could affect the manner in which he throws, Burrow and the team took comfort in the idea that he said on Wednesday that he felt much better. Indeed, had the team held a full practice, Burrow would likely have been a full participant according to the team’s injury report. As things stand, Burrow’s workload will be carefully monitored on a daily basis as the team prepares to take on the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. In the meantime Burrow from the sounds of it, will continue to tap Aaron Rodgers for advice, something he admitted with a smile.
“[I’m] going to continue to use that as a resource,” Burrow said of the four-time MVP.” He’s a great guy. Whenever you have a guy like that that’s willing to help, you’re going to use it.”