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Joe Burrow's Training Camp Has Been 'Ugly,' But It's Too Early to Hit the Panic Button, Right?

By Stephen Douglas
Joe Burrow at Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
Joe Burrow at Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp / Dylan Buell/Getty Images
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Joe Burrow had a rough rookie season, stuck on a bad Bengals team that finished 4-11-1. He suffered a season-ending injury in Week 11 when he tore his ACL and MCL. The good news is that Burrow has been surgically repaired and rehabbed and was ready for the start of training camp. The bad news is everything else. Via The Athletic:

Burrow even stayed late on the first day of padded practice to work on deep balls. A whole seven minutes.

The good news is that it is ridiculously early. Burrow is too smart not to be a little worried about getting hurt playing football. As long as everything was repaired properly, the feel and comfort in the pocket that made him a Heisman winner, NCAA champion and top pick in the draft will probably return. But that also depends a lot on how the Bengals offensive line does this season. He played behind one of the worst lines in the NFL last season and look what happened.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Bengals' offensive line 24th in June, but starting right tackle Riley Reiff and backup Fred Johnson are already dealing with injuries which has forced rookie D’Ante Smith into the lineup. This doesn't sound like the formula for a Peyton Manning-esque leap in year two for Burrow.

The Bengals are going to need to improve their line quickly to help and protect Burrow. Otherwise, the happy feet will continue and who could blame him?

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