Bengals: Not playing Joe Burrow in the preseason is the right decision

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

After getting injured in the second half of his rookie season, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is back and ready to go for year two at the helm.

While it’s exciting to have Burrow back in action, Bengals owner and president Mike Brown announced that the Bengals don’t plan to play Burrow during the three preseason games in August. Ben Baby of ESPN provided the quote below:

"We probably aren’t going to put him out there until we get to the season because we don’t want to risk anything with him,” Brown said in his first news conference since 2019. “But his effort rehabbing was A-plus.”"

This isn’t a shocking decision and it’s a smart one for the Bengals.

Why risk Burrow further injuring himself before the season even begins? That would be a stupid decision for the team.

Sure, Burrow will be entering Week 1 without any previous reps but we’re starting to see more teams pull their starters from all of the preseason games to avoid any major injuries. The Bears and Rams did this back in 2019 and while sometimes it can lead to rusty starts, it’s better than sustaining an injury to any key players.

Joe Burrow won’t play in the Cincinnati Bengals’ preseason games.

This could mean the Bengals’ offense gets off to a slow start against the Vikings in Week 1 but hopefully just for a series or two. Burrow hasn’t played in an NFL game since he was injured in Week 11 and had to have surgery so when he takes the field Week 1, it’ll have been a long-time coming for the No. 1 overall pick.

The Bengals are leaning heavily on Burrow this year and any hopes they have at locking down a winning record live and die with Burrow. It’d be hard to have any optimism whatsoever if Burrow was injured during the preseason so the Bengals are making the right call here in ensuring that Burrow will be on the field in Week 1.

This makes the preseason games a little less interesting now that Burrow won’t be playing at all but this allows fans to focus more on the position battles instead of overanalyzing Burrow’s performance in an exhibition game.

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It’d be fun to see Joe Burrow toss the pigskin when the preseason gets going but fans would much rather see him healthy in Week 1.