Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bengals’ Joe Burrow discusses injuries, toll on mental health: It’s ‘something I have had to fight through’

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When Joe Burrow starts 11-plus games in a season, the Cincinnati Bengals reach the AFC Championship game. Unfortunately, this has only happened twice in Burrow’s four seasons as the team’s franchise quarterback. 

Injuries have played a critical part in Burrow’s career, as he’s missed at least six games twice in four seasons. Burrow has also been affected by injuries in training camp as well, adding to the stress of avoiding them every season.

Burrow has admitted those injuries have taken a toll on his mental health so far. 

“Whenever the injuries start to stack up, your football mortality kind of comes into the back of your mind,” Burrow said Tuesday, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “So, that’s definitely something I’ve thought about and something I have had to fight through.”

The list of injuries Burrow has experienced in his NFL career are enough to make any athlete worry. In 2020, Burrow experienced a Grade 3 tear in the ACL, a Grade 3 tear in the MCL, a Grade 3 tear in the PCL and a torn meniscus, which caused him to miss the rest of his rookie season. He completed rehab just 11 days before the start of the 2021 season. 

Burrow then dislocated his pinkie finger during a sack in December of 2021, but didn’t miss any games. He had a Grade 1 knee strain in January of 2022 that caused him to miss a few plays at the end of a Week 17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs (Burrow also missed the next game). Add in a Grade 2 knee MCL sprain in Super Bowl LVI to cap off a season marred by injury, even though Burrow only missed one game.

In 2023, Burrow suffered a calf strain on his right leg while rolling out in practice and missed most of training camp. While Burrow didn’t miss any games, he aggravated the injury in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens. In a Week 11 loss to Baltimore, Burrow suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist — causing him to miss the final six games of the season. 

Burrow also suffered a wrist fracture at Ohio State (2017) and a torn rib cartilage during the College Football Playoff in 2020 while at LSU. That’s a lot of injuries and missed time for a 27-year-old quarterback. 

Even though Burrow is still recovering from his wrist injury, he’s accepting the challenge of fighting through and persevering through all the injuries. 

“They stack and you continue to think about how you can get better from those and how you can come back an improved player,” Burrow said. “Maybe you aren’t getting the reps you had because of your injuries. 

“It’s always a challenge, it always is. I’m built for it.”

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