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Joe Burrow (calf) still ‘several weeks’ away from return

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) is carted off the field after an injury on a scramble play during NFL football training camp, Thursday, July 27, 2023, in Cincinnati.
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Wednesday that star quarterback Joe Burrow remains “several weeks” away from returning from the strained calf injury he suffered two weeks ago.

“The timeline is several weeks from when I said several weeks,” Taylor told reporters.

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Taylor first said Burrow would be out several weeks on July 28, one day after Burrow went down during a training camp drill and had to be carted off the practice field.

Burrow was seen at training camp practice Wednesday, walking around in a full compression sleeve on his right leg.

It’s evident that Burrow will miss the start of the regular season, which kicks off one month from Thursday. But just how many games remains the question. Star wideout Ja’Marr Chase unintentionally threw gasoline on that fire recently, saying that he’s OK if Burrow remained sidelined through Week 5, if only to ensure he’s fully healthy.

“I want Joe to be his healthiest when it’s time to play, when it’s time to matter,” Chase clarified Tuesday. “I don’t want him out there false-stepping and not 100 percent. … I never really told him stay out until Week 5. It was just me saying take as much time as you need.”

While Burrow is out, Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning are splitting first-team reps as they vie for Cincinnati’s No. 2 quarterback job.

Taylor said Wednesday that Siemian and Browning will also split the snaps in Friday night’s preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers. The Bengals and Packers are amid joint practices this week.

Taylor added that a “high number of starters” won’t play Friday night.

Burrow also missed the 2022 preseason after undergoing an appendectomy, and with some rust apparently not knocked off, he threw four interceptions in the season opener in a home loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Burrow, 26, who guided the Bengals to the Super Bowl in his second NFL season in 2021, is also the next quarterback in line for a massive payday.

The Los Angeles Chargers recently made Justin Herbert the new highest-paid player in the NFL at $52.5 million per year (five-year extension worth $262.5 million), following extensions earlier this offseason for the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson ($260M) and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts ($255M).

–Field Level Media