Burrow’s rehab ‘going exactly how we hoped it would go’

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor is still hesitant to put a timeline on Joe Burrow’s return from wrist surgery, but he remains positive about the possibility the franchise quarterback will be able to participate in at least part of the team’s offseason workout program.

Speaking to reporters Monday during the AFC coaches’ breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings in Orlando, Taylor said the expectation is that Burrow will be throwing by the time voluntary workouts move into the organized team activity portion in May, according to Pro Football Network.

“On the injury front, I always try to stay back as far as I can,” Taylor said. “But everything’s positive, everything’s encouraging. He’s tracking well for the offseason program. We’ll continue to give him his space in his rehab work, but everything has been going exactly how we hoped it would go.”

Burrow tore the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist during the Nov. 16 game at Baltimore and underwent surgery Nov. 27.

In an end-of-season press conference in January, Burrow said it was too early to put an exact timeline on his return but indicated he “should be good” to throw by OTAs. More recently in an interview with ESPN’s Ben Baby, Burrow clarified he is expecting to “be cleared for full contact and everything” by the middle of May.

The Bengals begin their offseason program on April 17, and the OTA portion, which includes 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, is scheduled to start in May. Taylor told reporters Monday the team would be utilizing the maximum time allowed to be together, which has not been the case the past two offseasons following deep playoff runs to conclude the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Cincinnati missed the playoffs last season and have a longer offseason to recover.

“I think we do a good job of managing our team as a whole,” Taylor said. “This year will be a little more all-encompassing because we have a little longer offseason. So, we’ll utilize all nine weeks.”

Taylor also told reporters Monday he expects Tee Higgins to make an impact in 2024, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the wide receiver will participate in offseason workouts.

Higgins requested a trade after the Bengals used the franchise tag to keep him on their roster, but while Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin didn’t rule out that possibility when the topic of a trade came up at the NFL Combine, he made clear the organization used the tag with the intention of him playing for Cincinnati.

That still seems to be the mentality.

“We’re excited for Tee to have a great year for us,” Taylor said, according to Pro Football Network. “We think he’s our best chance to help us win a Super Bowl. I’ve enjoyed working with Tee the last four years and expect this year to be no different.”

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