Joe Burrow making vital career changes to be available for Bengals

Burrow is learning that the best ability is availability.
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

With mandatory mini-camp kicking off for the Cincinnati Bengals, preparation has leveled up, and Joe Burrow understands that his health, development, and presence this offseason -- and moving forward -- matters. As such, Burrow is prioritizing them more than he's done in the past.

"For a long time, all I had was the work that would pay off. All I’ve known. That shift in mindset has been tough but necessary." Burrow said Tuesday, per FOX's Joe Dannerman.

Burrow is nearing full-form and remains vigilent, indicating that he will certainly be back to 100% by the time September hits. The star quarterback spoke about throttling it back and taking days off:

"We don’t have to be ready to go in June; we have to be ready to go in September. We’re attacking it like I want to be full-go in February."

Burrow's journey

As good as Joe Burrow has been since entering the league in 2020, he has suffered two season-ending injuries in two out of his four seasons. One was a torn ACL that happened half way through his rookie season, and then he suffered a torn ligament in his wrist that occurred on Thursday night this past year against the Ravens.

However, in 2021, Burrow led the Bengals to the Super Bowl and won Comeback Player of the Year while throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns with a 108.3 QB rating. In 2022, he remained on that same track with 4,475 yards, 35 touchdowns, and a 100.8 QB rating on the road to the AFC Championship. 

"This offseason has been about not pushing through things," Burrow revealed. "I’ve always prided myself on my toughness. My growth is to take a step back and understand my value to the team."

Prior to last season, Burrow signed a record-breaking five-year, $275 million deal with the Bengals, putting him under contract until 2029. His understanding of how important he is to the franchise's success is vital. It seems like every offseason of his career has been bombarded with issues regarding his health. 

Now, for the first time, he is hoping to have a safe, smart, and productive lead up to training camp and the preseason, where he can strictly focus on developing his skillset on the football field alongside his teammates in the hopes of getting the Bengals back to the Super Bowl.