Joe Burrow said on Wednesday that he is “feeling good, feeling better every day” after undergoing surgery for a ruptured appendix 23 days ago.
The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback underwent the operation on July 26 after feeling some discomfort which prompted an examination and the surgery.
On Wednesday, Burrow reported to training camp and participated in 11-on-11 team drills for the first time since February’s Super Bowl. In his first meeting with the media, he said he doesn’t plan to play in any of his team’s preseason games, but that he is “feeling good, feeling better every day.”
Burrow told the media that during his spell on the sidelines, he lost some of the weight he needs to play at the high level he has shown in his few years in the NFL.
And now, with the start of the NFL season just mere weeks away, the 25-year-old has a short window to try and build himself back up.
“I was feeling the best I had coming out of the offseason training. Now, I have to get back to that,” Burrow said. “Have to go back to the high school days when you’re trying to gain 20 pounds in a couple of week span. So we’re forcing it down as much as we can.
“Throughout offseason training, you’re working on building your body up and getting more athletic – stronger, bigger, faster. So then, when you get to camp, you don’t have to worry about all that stuff, you can focus on football, but when you have that surgery and lose your strength, you’ve got to put that at the forefront again to build yourself back up.”
Stunted offseasons are something Burrow has become used to.
In his rookie season, he had to prep for his debut in the NFL during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last season, he was still rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL suffered months before.
And now, with his ruptured appendix, Burrow is praying for calmer waters in the future.
“I’d like to have a normal offseason at some point,” he said. “That’d be great going into the season feeling as good as I can. But that hasn’t been the reality for three years, so you make the most of what you’ve got. We’ll try again next year.”
Despite coming back from a serious knee injury in 2021, Burrow’s excellence was a driving force behind the Bengals’ magical run to Super Bowl LVI – winning the 25-year-old the Comeback Player of the Year award.
He led the NFL in completion percentage as Cincinnati reached their first Super Bowl since 1998. Although the appearance eventually ended in defeat, it cemented the Bengals as one of the rising star teams behind Burrow’s brilliance.
While the team has already almost reached the mountain top, Burrow says expectations remain sky-high going into the new season.
“I think we’re going to have a really good team. We have most of our defense back, added some really key pieces that I think have performed really well in camp, not just on the field but in the locker room,” he said.
“We’ve added some great guys in there, and that’s just as important as on the field stuff … I think our expectation is to be in every game that we play in and win our division and make the playoffs. I think that is the goal every year.”