Before the 1st practice of Bengals training camp Wednesday, QB Joe Burrow said: “I’m just about 100 percent. Feeling great, still getting stronger in my legs. Going to continue to lift throughout camp, keep getting stronger, so I just feel great going into Week One.” Burrow also said that he wants to play in a preseason game, but we'll see what the team decides to do. We wouldn't be surprised if they deny the franchise QB that wish. Still, signs continue to look positive for the health of Burrow's knee heading into his 2nd season.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow (knee) will participate on day 1 of training camp. He’s avoided the PUP or NFI list, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. If his knee continues to cooperate, there’s no question Burrow could pay off his QB13 FFPC ADP. See where he sits in our 2021 QB rankings.
The Athletic's Paul Dehner expects "monster numbers" from Bengals RB Joe Mixon this season. Dehner projects Mixon to play around 80% of the offensive snaps and add 15-20 receptions to his previous career high of 43. That'd make Mixon a shoo-in for RB1 numbers with a shot at the top 5. He's an exciting pick at his current mid-2nd-round ADP.
Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah declared himself 100% recovered from last year's torn Achilles and was a full-go in OTAs and minicamp, according to The Athletic's Paul Dehner. Uzomah opened last season as Cincinnati's starter, tallying 11 targets before going down in Week 2. Dehner confirms that Uzomah is expected to play ahead of TE Drew Sample this year -- assuming he regains pre-injury form. A pass-heavy Bengals offense helps Uzomah's fantasy outlook. But he figures to be battling RB Joe Mixon for the title of 4th option in the passing game behind WRs Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Bengals WR Tee Higgins has been the talk of minicamp. QB Joe Burrow said Tuesday that Higgins looks "completely different" than he did as a rookie and is "going to have a big year." Then OC Brian Callahan said the next day that Higgins has gotten "markedly more explosive." The Clemson product is coming off an excellent rookie season, tallying 67 catches, 908 yards and 6 TDs. He faces increased target competition with the arrival of rookie WR Ja'Marr Chase. But there's room for all 3 Bengals WRs (including Tyler Boyd) in what figures to be a pass-leaning offense without a real threat at TE.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow expects his surgically repaired left knee to be back to 100% for the start of training camp. "The knee still has a little ways to go, but my upper body, my right leg, everything else feels better than it ever has before," Burrow said. "When I'm on the field and executing, I'm playing better than I ever have before. So I'll continue the program we were on and get back to 100% before camp." Burrow was able to get on the field for minicamp. And while we thought he still looked a bit hobbled, he was moving around and throwing with nice velocity. We'll continue to keep a close eye on his progress leading up to Week 1.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow (knee) participated in OTAs on Tuesday and spoke to reporters afterwards. He said his surgically repaired left knee is at "80-85%." Burrow believes his arm is as strong as ever and is now working on getting comfortable with movement in the pocket and off-platform throws. He's wearing a knee brace and is still testing out different options. Burrow's status will be 1 of the bigger fantasy storylines of the summer. If healthy, he and this Cincinnati offense have a chance to explode.
Bengals RB Joe Mixon is "full go" for OTAs, HC Zac Taylor said Tuesday. Mixon missed the final 10 games of last season with a right foot injury that we never learned much about. It shouldn't be an issue in 2021, though. The Bengals have talked up a bigger receiving role for Mixon this season, which would be a nice boost to his fantasy value.
The doctor who operated on the left knee of Bengals QB Joe Burrow says Burrow is "on track for full go for start of the season," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Burrow, of course, tore the ACL in that knee, along with other damage. Dr. Neal ElAttrache has been working with Cincinnati's medical staff through the recovery, though, and says the QB is "well into the return to performance phase of his recovery. With him already performing this way, it's 'all systems go' for the start of the season." That's obviously good news for the entire Bengals offense and makes it a little easier to take Burrow in current best-ball drafting.
Bengals HC Zac Taylor praised 6th-round rookie RB Chris Evans' pass-catching ability. "He’s a very natural route runner out of the backfield,” Taylor said. “He can split out. That’s one of the things that really jumped out to us at the Senior Bowl, just how dominant he was in those one-on-ones. How natural and easy it looked for him." Cincinnati released pass-catching RB Gio Bernard this offseason, although we're expecting RB Joe Mixon to soak up most of that work this year. Evans remains just a dynasty stash for now but is worth monitoring this summer.
Bengals OC Brian Callahan was asked about his plans for a 3rd-down back this season and had this to say: "I don't want Joe (Mixon) to leave the field, and I think he's up for that challenge." Nice. Mixon has been an excellent pass-catching back dating back to his college days. But that part of his game has never been fully unleashed in Cincinnati. He topped out at 43 catches back in 2018 -- although he was on pace for 56 through 6 games last season. The Bengals cut RB Gio Bernard this offseason and only added 6th-round rookie Chris Evans and undrafted rookie Pooka Williams to the backfield so far. A healthy Mixon is a good bet for a new career high in receptions this year. His ADP at the Round 2-3 turn in FFPC best-ball drafts right now (RB15) makes him a good target.
The Bengals selected Florida K Evan McPherson in Round 5 of the 2021 NFL Draft. He’ll head into the offseason program as the favorite for kicking duties over veteran Austin Seibert. McPherson made 85% of his 60 career FG attempts; he went 5 of 8 from 50+ yards.
The Bengals grabbed Joseph Ossai in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Ossai was very productive at Texas the past 2 years, racking up 29 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He arrived as an edge player, moved to off-ball LB and then moved back to DE in 2020. Ossai brings a nice mix of pass-rush moves, strength and speed (7th-best speed score in this edge class). Cincinnati let Carl Lawson walk in free agency but replaced him with Trey Hendrickson. Sam Hubbard returns to start on the other side. Ossai should fight for a spot in the edge rotation, though.
The Bengals added LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase with the 5th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Chase opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns but had nothing left to prove after a massive 2019. He set single-season SEC records with 1,780 yards and 20 TDs. And he did it as a true sophomore battling for targets with Justin Jefferson, who just set the record for receiving yards by a rookie, and Terrace Marshall, who is expected to be a 1st- or 2nd-rounder this year. Chase goes 6’0, 201 pounds but plays bigger. He’s physical through his routes, at the catch point and after the catch. And he’s excellent going deep, leading the nation with 24 catches 20+ yards downfield in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. Chase blew up his Pro Day, blazing a 4.34-second 40-yard dash and registering a huge 41-inch vertical to earn a 98th percentile Relative Athletic Score. “Chase is one of the best wide receivers in the last 10 years,” a longtime scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He can take an underneath ball and go 80 yards. He can just run right by you and catch it 60 yards downfield. He’s built like a fullback almost, but can run like a wide receiver. He’s as good as it gets.” Chase reunites with QB Joe Burrow in Cincinnati as part of a loaded WR corps alongside Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Any of those 3 could lead the team in targets this season.
The Bengals have reached a 4-year, $60 million deal with DE Trey Hendrickson that includes $32 million for the 1st 2 seasons, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Hendrickson exploded for 13.5 sacks in 2020, tying for 2nd in the league after collecting just 6.5 total over his 1st 3 pro seasons. Hendrickson was a productive college player, though, including 23 sacks and 30 tackles for loss over his final 2 campaigns at Florida Atlantic. He's also a superior athlete, delivering the 3rd-best speed score among DEs in his 2017 draft class (behind Myles Garrett and ahead of Haason Reddick). Hendrickson figures to take over the void left by Carl Lawson hitting free agency. We'll see how the 26-year-old builds on his 2020 breakout.
According to HC Zac Taylor, Bengals QB Joe Burrow is "on pace to do all the things that we were hoping he'd do." The 2nd-year QB underwent left knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL on December 2. Bottom line: Week 1 still looks like a realistic return date for Burrow. He's a top-15 guy in our 2021 QB rankings.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow (ACL) said Tuesday that he hopes to be ready for Week 1 of the 2021 campaign. "That's been the goal for me from the beginning," he said. "They say it's a nine-to-12-month recovery, and the first game is exactly nine months from my injury. We are on pace to do it right now. There is obviously a long road ahead and there are opportunities for setbacks along the road, but as far as right now, it's looking as good as it could for where I am at in the rehab process." Burrow is scheduled to start throwing again in mid-February, 12 weeks after surgery. His recovery will be 1 of the more important fantasy storylines to track this offseason.
The Saints have ruled DE Trey Hendrickson (neck) out for Sunday's game against the Bears. That leaves New Orleans without its season sack leader. The matchup for the Saints defense still looks good, though, against the 2nd-worst offense in the playoffs (behind Washington), according to Football Outsiders DVOA.
Bengals WR Tee Higgins suffered a hamstring injury early in Sunday's game vs. the Ravens. He's officially questionable to return, but don't expect to see him back out there in this meaningless finale. Higgins' rookie campaign ends 92 yards shy of 1,000.
Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (concussion) has been cleared to play in this weekend's finale vs. the Ravens, HC Zac Taylor Friday. Boyd has played just 2 full games without QB Joe Burrow, totaling 15 targets, 8 catches and 58 scoreless yards. He's a low-upside Week 17 fantasy play.