CINCINNATI — The most eventful event at Paycor Stadium occurred just hours before the Cincinnati Bengals played their preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.
Quarterback Joe Burrow had his first pitching session since sustaining a right calf strain on July 27. Wearing a bucket hat, Burrow was on the touchline during the team’s 36-19 loss to the Packers in Cincinnati.
After the friendly, Bengals manager Zac Taylor didn’t have much to say about Burrow’s return plan but hinted things are going in the right direction.
“I think things are going well and he’s making progress as he should,” Taylor said Friday night.
While the fifth-year Bengals coach hasn’t commented on when Burrow might return, he didn’t add time to his original prediction that Burrow would be out for “several weeks,” starting with his injury in late July.
Friday’s public throwing session was the latest incremental update for Burrow, who was unavailable to speak after the game and Friday, nor was he in the dressing room.
Burrow attended Wednesday’s joint training session with the Green Bay Packers with the team, the first time he’s been on the field for practice since his calf injury. Burrow made the decision earlier in the day that he would be a spectator.
Although he just stood and watched, his presence was well received by coaches and teammates.
“He’s recovered quite a bit,” said Brian Callahan, the Bengals’ offensive coordinator, after practice together. “He’s doing a good job and it’s always an advantage to have him with us at training. The boys like to see him too. I think you could tell everyone was excited to have him there, standing around and watching.”
Against the Packers, the offensive performance of the other quarterbacks in the roster left a lot to be desired.
Jake Browning, who spent the entire 2022 season on the Cincinnati practice team, played the entire first half on Cincinnati’s second offense. He was 10 of 17 passes for 95 yards and one interception.
Trevor Siemian, signed during free agency after Brandon Allen’s departure, had 15 of 28 passes for 121 yards and one interception.
Cincinnati’s only touchdown came on defense. Safety Tycen Anderson returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown on Friday.
While Taylor said that Browning and Siemian did some good, he also pointed out the lack of points.
“Ultimately that’s what we’re measured by – protecting the football and putting the team in the end zone,” Taylor said. “There’s not enough of that tonight.”
All eyes will continue to be on Burrow as Cincinnati prepares for its season opener against the Cleveland Browns on September 10th. And it appears Friday’s pitching session yielded no setbacks as Burrow continues the rehab process.
Taylor said, “I think everything has been positive.”