The Cincinnati Bengals won their first game of the 2023 season even with an injured Joe Burrow. The calf injury was clearly bothering Burrow, evidenced by him staying in the pocket and trying to dirt the ball as soon as pressure closed in.
That being said, the Bengals won the game and that was the most important thing entering this week. Starting 0-3 wouldn't have been a death sentence but it would have been a tough hole to crawl out of, especially if Burrow had a setback with that injury.
Burrow's status leading up to the game was uncertain but he ended up playing for the entire game. He was definitely limited though but did seem to get a little more comfortable as the game went along.
Burrow finished the game with 26 completions (of 49 pass attempts) for 242 yards and an interception. He was sacked twice and had a QBR of 25.2 and rating of 59.8. Not his best work.
What grade does Joe Burrow deserve for Week 3 performance?
Keeping in mind that Burrow was clearly in pain, I've decided to give him a C for this week's performance. He probably shouldn't have been throwing as much as he was (nearly 50 pass attempts on a bum calf) and the interception wasn't necessarily his fault. He clearly isn't going to be the same Joe Burrow we all know and love while he's dealing with this injury though so these performances could be what we continue to see from him.
Luckily, the defense, which had been hit-or-miss to this point, balled out and helped take the pressure off of Burrow and the offense.