Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow expressed optimism and determination as he recovers from a wrist injury that prematurely ended his 2023 season. At Tuesday’s team’s mandatory minicamp, Burrow opened up about the mental challenges of dealing with recurrent injuries and his readiness for the upcoming season.

Burrow, entering his fifth year with the Bengals, acknowledged the psychological toll of frequent injuries, which include a torn left ACL, strained right calf, ruptured appendix, and most recently, a torn ligament in his throwing wrist. “Whenever the injuries start to stack up, your football mortality kind of comes into the back of your mind,” Burrow told ESPN. “So, that’s definitely something I’ve thought about and something I have had to fight through.”

Despite the setbacks, Burrow remains confident in his recovery process and aims to be fully prepared for the season. “I’ll be ready to go by the season,” he assured, refraining from specifying his current recovery percentage.

Throughout the offseason, Burrow has emphasized the importance of balancing intense preparation with sufficient rest. Bengals coach Zac Taylor reinforced this approach by implementing rest days for Burrow during the offseason program. Burrow did not throw during the June 4 OTA practice, underscoring the team’s cautious strategy.

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“That’s something we’re being more proactive about this year,” Burrow said. “We don’t have to be ready to go in the middle of June. We have to be ready to go early September through February. That’s how we’re attacking this offseason, rehab plan, practices, and training camp.

Burrow reflected on his past approach to injuries, particularly citing the strained right calf injury from last training camp. He returned to play after five weeks, only to aggravate the injury in Week 2. This experience prompted Burrow to adopt a new mindset, prioritizing long-term health over short-term heroics. Whenever you fight through adversity and come out on the other side, it definitely gives you a feeling of invincibility, Burrow said. “Obviously, you know that is not the case. So, it’s always a balancing act. That’s what this offseason has been about for me.”

Burrow’s leadership remains crucial as the Bengals prepare for the new season, especially with top receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase in varying stages of contract negotiations. Higgins has yet to sign his franchise tag, while Chase, present at Tuesday’s minicamp, is seeking a contract extension. Despite these uncertainties, Burrow maintains a positive outlook.

Burrows said, “Our team is built for it, and people that I have surrounded myself with have been through it with me as well. I’m excited about the season. I’m excited about what we are going to do. I’m excited about what we have in the locker room.”

With his resilient attitude and proactive recovery strategy, Burrow is poised to lead the Bengals into what he hopes will be a successful 2024 season.

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