Joe Burrow should still be ready for the Week 1 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he’ll be playing without one organ. According to multiple reports, Burrow is undergoing surgery to remove his appendix. The operation is expected to cause Burrow to miss the start of the summer. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, he’ll miss “some” time.
None of the current reports indicate he’s in any danger of missing the Week 1 opener, still roughly six weeks away. But it’s certainly a situation to monitor and Burrow could miss roughly the first half of training camp. He’s coming off a breakout 2021 season, leading the Bengals’ high-powered offense to the AFC North title and Super Bowl appearance before falling short to the Los Angeles Rams. Last season, Burrow completed over 70% of his throws with 34 touchdowns, though he was the league’s most sacked quarterback in the regular season (51) and playoffs (19). Still, he is the team’s next franchise quarterback and the face of the team for the next 10+ seasons. Health has been an issue with him tearing his ACL his rookie year and now undergoing surgery, though this is of course far less severe and shouldn’t cost him any regular season action.
Backing Burrow up are Brandon Allen and Jake Browning. They figure to see the bulk of the reps until Burrow returns to action. The Bengals are considered AFC North favorites but play in one of football’s toughest division. As was the case last season, there may not be much separation from first to last place. Cincinnati took home first place last year with ten wins while Baltimore, who finished last, had eight.
The Steelers and Bengals square off September 11th. Cincinnati swept Pittsburgh last year, including a blowout win in the second meeting, 41-10. The Steelers haven’t won in Cincinnati since 2019.