Joe Burrow will play in his first game since his rookie season was cut short due to an ACL tear.
Coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals revealed on Wednesday that the quarterback would only get a few snaps against the Miami Dolphins in the preseason finale on Sunday.
Burrow tore his ACL on November 22, 2020. Previously, the Bengals had taken the cautious route with the former first-round pick. Burrow was supposed to be held out of the three preseason games. Plans are formed with the intention of being changed.
Burrow will get live game reps, even if only a handful, before the regular season begins Sept. 12 against the Vikings, according to Taylor, so the second-year signal-caller can try out the knee.
Burrow has stated that he feels fine after nine months of rehabilitation, although he has had an up-and-down training camp. Getting real reps in preseason play could help the young quarterback overcome any remaining mental obstacles as he prepares for the 2021 season.
“It’s a big deal,” Burrow told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “We want to make Game 3 of the preseason feel like Game 1 of the regular season. They need to hear how I’m going to call plays during a game. They hear it in practice, but they need to hear it in a game-like situation, so it’s critical.”
The decision to play Burrow in the preseason finale underscores the different approach each team is taking with the new three-game exhibition format.