Cincinnati Bengals fans can breathe a little easier, as franchise quarterback Joe Burrow reached another target in his comeback from the torn ACL that ended his rookie campaign prematurely.
The 2020 No. 1 overall selection avoided the PUP list and is cleared to be in uniform when the club opens training camp Tuesday.
Burrow completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions before his rookie season was derailed by a knee injury on Nov. 22 against the Washington Football Team. He tore his left ACL and MCL and also suffered partial tears to his PCL and meniscus.
Burrow, 24, told ESPN last month that he was at 85 percent with a target return date of the start of training camp.
“The knee still has a little ways to go, but my upper body, my right leg, everything else feels better than it ever has before,” Burrow said at the time. “When I’m on the field and executing, I’m playing better than I ever have before. So, I’ll continue the program we were on and get back to 100 percent before camp.”
One thing to watch with Burrow at training camp will be his throwing velocity. In the offseason, he worked with former Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer to improve his mechanics, and Palmer told The Athletic those changes are expected to bear fruit.
“You gotta give Joe a thing to chase, whether it’s a team or a record, it’s just a challenge. That’s all he needs,” Palmer said. “He found a way to create more energy on the ball.”
The Bengals open their preseason schedule on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 14. They kick off the regular season at home against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 12.