The Cincinnati Bengals are experiencing a haunting sense of déjà vu as they head into Week 3 of the NFL season. Last year, at this juncture, the team suffered losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys.
This year, they're staring down a potential 0-3 start, with the Los Angeles Rams looming on Monday Night Football.
Burrow's Crucial Comeback
But there's a compelling subplot to this narrative—Joe Burrow's fitness. While the Bengals were grappling with their initial season losses, Week 2 added another layer of tension when Burrow aggravated an existing calf injury.
Now, as kickoff against the Rams approaches, all eyes are on Burrow’s potential return to the gridiron. The most recent indications suggest that the Bengals’ star quarterback might be on the verge of a comeback.
ESPN's veteran NFL insider, Adam Schefter, weighed in on the situation during his appearance on the 'Pat McAfee Show' Schefter stated, “If the Bengals elevate a quarterback by 4 PM, then Burrow isn't suiting up. If they don't, expect him under center”.
This comes after Burrow initially injured his calf in the preseason and had to momentarily step away from the action. Despite that setback, the quarterback, who recently inked a whopping $275 million contract extension with Cincinnati, was raring to go in Week 1.
But a flare-up in Week 2 has cast shadows over his appearance against the Rams. "Joe Burrow is eager to return; he's been pushing hard to be on the field tonight," sources close to the situation mentioned. Should Burrow remain sidelined, Jake Browning is set to step in as the Bengals' quarterback.
Given the visual evidence of Burrow's discomfort when he exited the field in the previous game, Browning's entry does seem probable. Opinions are divided regarding Burrow's Week 3 status. Many fear that rushing the quarterback might risk long-term damage and potential sidelining.
Conversely, there's palpable concern regarding the Bengals' prospects without their talismanic leader. As anticipation builds for the Monday Night clash, the Bengals' decision on Burrow will undoubtedly have significant implications, both immediate and for the rest of the season.
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