Joe Burrow

Bengals Make Three Waiver Claims

SEPTEMBER 2: To no surprise, the Bengals are indeed re-signing Allen, Thomas and Williams now that they have the open roster spots to do so, per a team announcement. Cincinnati is also placing safety Tycen Anderson and tackle Isaiah Prince on IR.

AUGUST 31: The Bengals have made some notable additions in the aftermath of yesterday’s roster cutdowns. Per the waiver wire, they have claimed tight end Devin Asiasiguard Max Scharping and defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

[RELATED: Bengals Expected To Sign TE Howard]

Asiasi came to New England with significant expectations, given his draft status and the organization’s success at the position. The third-rounder made just 10 appearances in his first two seasons, though, recording only a pair of receptions. The Patriots made a substantial free agent investment in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith last offseason, limiting his future with the team. In Cincinnati, he will face steep competition for playing time from Hayden Hurst and, in all likelihood, O.J. Howard.

Scharping is in a similar situation to Asiasi in terms of being an underwhelming high draft choice yet to finish their rookie contract. A 2019 second-rounder, the 26-year-old started 33 of the 48 contests he appeared in with the Texans, moving from the left to right guard spot this past season. Regardless of where he lined up, the Northern Illinois alum graded out in the mid-to-high 50s with respect to PFF rating, leaving him on the roster bubble. Scharping’s vacated spot is likely to be filled by A.J. Cann; he will challenge for a backup role behind top free agent addition Alex Cappa with the Bengals.

Tufele, meanwhile, has seen the least playing time of the new trio. As a rookie last season, he made just four appearances in Jacksonville, totaling two tackles. His PFF pass rush grade of 77 indicates some upside on third downs, which dates back to his time in college. Moving on from the USC alum so soon may have come as a surprise, though the additions of Folorunso Fatukasi and Adam Gotsis along the d-line were likely to significantly lessen his chance of seeing significant playing time with the Jaguars. The Bengals lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency, but re-upped B.J. Hill, whom Tufele will look to provide depth behind his new home.

The defending AFC champions will return many of the members of last season’s team, but these additions could prove effective at areas of relative need. Among the cuts necessary to accommodate the new arrivals is veteran quarterback Brandon Allen. The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal for the third consecutive offseason to remain in Cincinnati.

For now, Allen’s departure leaves the Bengals with only Joe Burrow under center. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets, however, that Allen “will be back.” Cincinnati is also parting ways with safety Michael Thomas and running back Trayveon Williams.

Latest On Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow returned to Bengals practice this week after undergoing an appendectomy in late July. While initial reports seemed to indicate that Burrow underwent a standard procedure, that didn’t end up being the case. As ESPN’s Ben Baby writes, the quarterback lost weight thanks to the surgery and subsequent recovery, and it sounds like he’s got some work to do to get into game shape for Week 1.

“It wasn’t normal appendicitis that you hear about,” Burrow explained. “I didn’t really feel much. Just getting checked out and had some discomfort so we thought we’d get it checked out. Turns out I had it. So we had to get it fixed.”

It’s an encouraging sign that Burrow has returned to practice, and the Bengals have a plan in place to get him right for the start of the regular season. This includes a plan to add weight and get the QB’s body back “to its pre-surgery form.” Burrow isn’t expected to see the field for Cincinnati’s remaining preseason contests.

“I think it will be OK,” Burrow said. “We have a good plan as far as nutrition and weight room and all that stuff. I feel good right now and just going to keep feeling better.”

Burrow isn’t the only key Bengals player to return to practice. Wideout Tee Higgins participated in team drills for the first time on Sunday, per Baby. The receiver had his labrum worked on this offseason, but it sounds like he’ll be good to go for the start of the regular season.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Burrow, Poyer, Giants, Falcons

James White remains without a return timetable. The veteran is still sidelined following hip surgery, and Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets that it’s uncertain when the long-time Patriots RB will return to the field.

The longest-tenured member of the Patriots offense could ultimately land on PUP, but Howe notes that the organization will wait a few more weeks to evaluate White’s progress. The RB suffered a hip subluxation injury last September, limiting him to only three games during the 2021 season. White had 496 yards from scrimmage during his first non-Tom Brady season in 2020, but he topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in both 2019 and 2018.

Fortunately for the Patriots, the organization still has Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson atop their depth chart, but it’s tough to replace the pass-catching prowess of White. The organization also used a pair of draft picks on RBs Pierre Strong Jr. (fourth round) and Kevin Harris (sixth round).

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had an appendectomy last week, and it’s unlikely we see him until the regular season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Burrow likely won’t play during the preseason. Rapoport estimates that the QB could return two to four weeks after his initially surgery, and he’ll likely participate in throwing sessions while limiting his hits during practice.
  • Bills All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer hyperextended his elbow yesterday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). While the injury will keep Poyer off the field for a few weeks, he’s expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. The veteran defensive back has only missed a pair of regular season games since joining the Bills in 2017.
  • Giants fourth-round safety Dane Belton suffered a broken collarbone, reports ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter). While the rookie will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the organization is holding out hope that he’ll be good to go for the start of the season. There’s a better chance he lands on IR following final cuts and will then be activated at some point in October. The Iowa product had already made a strong impression at training camp, according to Raanan.
  • Falcons defensive tackle Vincent Taylor ruptured his Achilles, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (on Twitter). The injury will force Taylor to miss the 2022 season. The 28-year-old joined the Falcons back in April. The journeyman has appeared in 40 career games, including a single start with the Texans in 2021.

Latest On Jessie Bates, Bengals Extensions

The Bengals didn’t sign Jessie Bates prior to the extension deadline, and despite having little leverage to avoid playing on the franchise tag in 2022, the safety is still away from the team as training camp starts. Speaking to reporters, Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin acknowledged that the two sides “just didn’t come together” on a new deal and there are “no hard feelings” (via ESPN’s Ben Baby on Twitter).

[RELATED: Jessie Bates Absent From Training Camps]

Predictably, Tobin revealed that the front office would be willing to resume negotiations with Bates following the upcoming season. Bates has not yet signed his tender — which means that he cannot be fined for skipping training camp — but he will either need to sign it at some point or sit out the entire 2022 campaign, which seems highly unlikely. The most likely route sees Bates return to the field for the 2022 season and then hit unrestricted free agent next offseason. For what it’s worth, a trade isn’t expected.

Meanwhile, the Bengals front office will soon have to shift focus to extending their franchise quarterback. Speaking to reporters, team president Mike Brown made it clear that the Bengals want to keep Joe Burrow long-term.

“I can tell you that we couldn’t be happier with Joe Burrow,” Brown said (via Baby). “He’s everything you would wish for, especially for a quarterback in Cincinnati. Our whole focus is going to be on keeping him here.”

Burrow is entering the third year of his rookie contract, meaning there’s still plenty of time to negotiate a new pact. As Baby notes, the Bengals will also have to figure out how to proceed with an extension for wide receiver Tee Higgins, although Brown was clear that QB is the team’s priority.

“Right now, our obvious, most important issue will be with our quarterback,” Brown said. “It’s not quite ready or ripe yet, but it’s right down the track. We see the train coming.”

MCL Sprain For Bengals’ Joe Burrow

After the Bengals announced a brand new deal for head coach Zac Taylor, they delivered even more good news on Wednesday. Quarterback Joe Burrow is only dealing with an MCL sprain, according to doctors, which means that he won’t need surgery this offseason. 

[RELATED: Bengals Sign Zac Taylor To Extension]

Burrow went down in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl clutching his right knee. He was clearly in pain after the takedown from Von Miller, but still managed to finish out the game. Fortunately, this shouldn’t hamper him in the 2022 season.

Burrow has dealt with much worse in the past, including the 2020 offseason when he had to rehab from a torn ACL (and MCL). Since then, the Bengals have prioritized their offensive line, but it’s safe to say that they’ll do even more on that front this spring.

In the regular season, Burrow played in 16 games and led the league with 70.4% of his throws completed. His TD/INT ratio (34-14) further positioned him as one of the NFL’s brightest young talents. Even though he didn’t capture a ring on Sunday, it stands to reason that he’ll have plenty more opportunities in the years to come, starting with the ’22 campaign.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow Avoided Serious Injury During Super Bowl

Joe Burrow suffered a knee injury during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Fortunately, it sounds like the Bengals QB avoided a serious injury. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (and passed along by’s Chase Goodbread), Burrow suffered a sprain that will not require surgery.

Burrow suffered the injury with 11:55 remaining in the game. The QB was sacked by Rams defender Von Miller, and replays showed Burrow yelling in pain after landing on the ground. The former first-overall pick limped to the sideline, but he was able to return to the field and finish the game.

All of Cincinnati surely held their breath while Burrow limped off the field, especially following a 2020 campaign when Burrow was knocked out by a torn ACL and MCL. Fortunately, Burrow escaped serious injury this time around, but the knee sprain just emphasizes the Bengals’ need for more protection in front of their franchise quarterback.

Burrow got into 16 games during his sophomore season, completing a league-leading 70.4 percent of his passes while tossing 34 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions. The 25-year-old also had a strong postseason, throwing another five touchdowns.

Dolphins Were Prepared To Trade All Three 2020 First-Round Picks To Bengals For Joe Burrow

The Dolphins’ pursuit of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft was well-documented. Though the team was connected to Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa for much of the 2019 season — Tank For Tua, anyone? — Joe Burrow‘s transcendent 2019 performance with LSU and Tagovailoa’s injury troubles made Burrow the top-ranked QB in his class on big boards across the NFL.

The rebuilding Miami outfit was supposed to be bad enough to secure 2020’s No. 1 pick — and, by extension, Burrow — without having to make a trade, but a surprising 5-4 finish to the 2019 season resulted in the club landing the No. 5 overall selection (and as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk posits, then-head coach Brian Flores‘ refusal to heed owner Stephen Ross‘ alleged mandate to tank may have marked the beginning of the rift that eventually led to Flores’ dismissal this year). The Bengals, meanwhile, stumbled into the top pick and found themselves in pole position for Burrow.

Still armed with three first-round choices (Nos. 5, 18, and 26) thanks to myriad transactions emblematic of a rebuilding club, the Dolphins did their best to acquire the No. 1 pick from Cincinnati. That gambit included trying to prise the No. 3 overall pick from the Lions, which Miami intended to trade to the Bengals, along with its own No. 5 selection, in exchange for the No. 1 choice.

While acquiring the No. 3 pick without giving up the No. 5 always seemed like a longshot, Ian Rapoport of wrote this morning that the ‘Fins were willing to give up all three of their own first-rounders — and potentially more — to jump up to No. 1 and nab Burrow. However, Bengals brass had no interest in entertaining any offers, regardless of how tempting they might have been, and quickly rebuffed Miami’s overtures.

In hindsight, it’s hard to argue with that decision (though Florio faults Ross for not calling Bengals owner Mike Brown directly to make a pitch while also faulting Brown for not even listening to what the Dolphins were putting on the table). Burrow rebounded from a torn ACL that cut his rookie season short and enjoyed a tremendous sophomore campaign, leading the league in completion percentage (70.4%) and yards per attempt (8.9) despite being sacked a league-high 51 times. Most importantly, of course, is the fact that he has his team on the brink of its first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.

Although it’s possible to envision a scenario in which the Bengals acquired Miami’s three first-rounders and still made their current postseason run — perhaps with Justin Herbert, selected by the Chargers with 2020’s No. 6 overall pick, under center — Burrow’s success has Bengals fans perfectly content with the way things worked out. The Dolphins, meanwhile, ended up with Tagovailoa after all, and are hopeful that whomever they hire as their new head coach will help him find the consistent professional success that has thus far eluded him.

Joe Burrow Will Not Be Placed On PUP List

Joe Burrow‘s recovery from a torn ACL and MCL (and related damage) in Week 11 of the 2020 season continues to go well. The Bengals’ QB participated in OTAs this spring, and the team has announced that Burrow will not open training camp on the PUP list. 

That means, of course, that Burrow will be leading his troops when camp opens on Tuesday, and he will seek to build upon what was a promising rookie campaign. Despite dealing with a porous offensive line, Burrow completed 65.3% of his passes for 13 touchdowns against five interceptions in his ten games last season.

This offseason, Cincinnati reunited Burrow with former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, generally considered the top receiver in the Class of 2021. In Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, Burrow has a loaded receiving corps to work with.

Hopefully, they’ve done enough to protect him up front as well. Free agent acquisition Riley Reiff should upgrade the right tackle slot, but while the Bengals drafted three rookie blockers — Jackson Carman, D’Ante Smith, and Trey Hill — they did not add much other proven talent. They did re-up Quinton Spain and recently claimed Lamont Gaillard off waivers from the Cardinals, so head coach Zac Taylor will at least have plenty of players to choose from in his search for a capable front five.

With quality protection for Burrow and running back Joe Mixon, the Bengals’ offense could be among the league’s best in 2021.

Joe Burrow At Bengals OTAs

With each piece of good news, Bengals fans can continue to breathe a little easier. Last week we heard Joe Burrow was on track for Week 1, and now the second-year quarterback has taken another step in the right direction.

Burrow participated in the teams OTAs on Tuesday, as Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic tweets. You can check out a video of Burrow throwing a few passes and looking fairly strong on his surgically repaired knee courtesy of this tweet from James Rapien of SI Now. Burrow, of course, is coming off a significant injury that included ACL and MCL tears as well as some other damage.

Cincy is going to be cautious with their expected savior of the franchise, so the fact that he’s doing any work at all in May is a good sign that his recovery has gone as well as could be hoped for. After practice head coach Zac Taylor said “we are not pushing the envelope,” which means nobody is allowed within ten feet of Burrow, Dehner tweets.

Seriously. Any running backs running routes are motioned out wide to end up as far from Burrow as possible. No word yet on if the team will be layering him in bubble wrap for minicamp. For his part, Burrow said his knee is at “80-85 percent.”

As for his first Bengals passes to former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, who Burrow reportedly had a role in drafting, he said “it was a little rusty at first but we got it back pretty quick.” The former Heisman winner also said he’d be wearing a knee brace, something he’s not a fan of, calling the process of picking one finding the “lesser of the evils.”

North Notes: Chase, Steelers, Vikings

The Bengals encountered some scrutiny for passing on Penei Sewell to take Ja’Marr Chase at No. 5, given their issues on the offensive line. But the Chase-over-Sewell stance formed weeks ahead of the draft. Bengals brass went to Joe Burrow for a detailed opinion on this matter. Chase having played a key part in Burrow winning the 2019 Heisman Trophy, and Jeremy Fowler of notes the second-year quarterback gave his ex-LSU teammate a strong endorsement. Chase-to-Cincinnati gained considerable steam ahead of the draft, and the Bengals followed through with the move to add the impact receiver prospect to a wideout group that includes Tyler Boyd and 2020 second-rounder Tee Higgins. The Bengals viewed Chase as the kind of talent too good to pass up, Fowler adds. The Bengals drafted offensive linemen in the second, fourth and sixth rounds, with Jackson Carman — whom the team selected after trading down eight spots — being the most notable of these additions.

Here is the latest from the North divisions:

  • Continuing recent tradition, the Raiders surprised draft viewers with their first-round pick. The Jon GrudenMike Mayock regime chose Alex Leatherwood 17th overall. The Alabama tackle was viewed by most as a major reach; Scouts Inc. rated him as this draft’s 60th-best prospect. The Raiders may have been leery of two teams eyeing Leatherwood in the back half of Round 1, however. The Steelers and Vikings had Leatherwood on their respective radars, per Fowler. The Vikings drafted Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw (Scouts Inc.’s No. 20 overall prospect) at No. 23. Pittsburgh preferred him to most of the draft’s second-tier tackles, but the team appeared locked in on ex-Leatherwood teammate Najee Harris at No. 24. Leatherwood is expected to work as a right tackle in Las Vegas.
  • Although the Steelers’ depth chart has the look of one that would benefit from a veteran tackle addition, they do not appear to be eyeing one in the post-draft period of free agency. Despite Alejandro Villanueva defecting to the Ravens and the Steelers not drafting a tackle before Round 4, the team likes its left tackle setup, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Pittsburgh lost three O-line starters — Villanueva, Maurkice Pouncey and Matt Feiler — this offseason and is planning to move right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor to the left side. Pro Football Focus viewed Okorafor as one of the league’s worst tackles in 2020, grading him 70th at the position. Okorafor spent the 2018 and ’19 seasons as a backup, moving into the Steelers’ starting lineup after Zach Banner‘s Week 1 ACL tear. Banner has re-signed and is expected to compete for the right tackle job.
  • Thanks to the Lions’ $13.5MM-per-year extension for Frank Ragnow, the NFL has a new highest-paid center.
  • The Bears did not become aggressive in their effort to trade up for Justin Fields until draft day, when they identified a few teams as trade-down candidates and engaged in negotiations.