Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is reportedly expected to play in the team's Monday Night Football matchup against the Los Angeles Rams despite a calf injury, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Athletic's Dianna Russini.
"Despite not being 100% healthy because of a calf injury, QB Joe Burrow will play tonight against the Rams on MNF, per sources," Russini wrote on her X account hours before kickoff. "Joe Burrow will still go through his normal workout and make sure it’s comfortable. I’m told the expectation after a “great” day is starting tonight’s game."
FOX Sports' Jay Glazer had previously reported that Burrow was expected be "questionable" for game, while CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones reported that the former No. 1 overall pick could possibly be placed on injured reserve, which would rule him out for four games. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor had previously said that it would be "doubtful" that Burrow would be active if he didn't start Monday's game.
Burrow was reported to be day-to-day due to a lingering strained right calf injury that kept him out of Thursday's (September 21) practice before participating in Friday's (September 22) practice. Burrow's reported participation in practice came hours after the Bengals signed Reid Sinnett to their practice squad to provide depth at the position after reserve quarterback Will Grier was signed to the New England Patriots' active roster.
Burrow initially suffered the calf injury early in training camp and has struggled during his first two starts of the 2023 NFL season, throwing for a combined 304 yards, two touchdowns and one interceptions on 41 of 72 passing in two losses. The former No. 1 overall pick signed a five-year, $275 million deal, which made him the highest-paid player in NFL history, earlier this month.
Burrow was entering the final guaranteed year of his rookie contract after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, with the Bengals having already picked up his fifth-year option, which will also be guaranteed for injury. Many spectated Burrow would be in line for a record-setting deal with the quarterback pay scale having increased from Jalen Hurts' then-record-setting extension with the Philadelphia Eagles being surpassed by Lamar Jackson's extension with the Baltimore Ravens days later.
Burrow has met lofty expectations when healthy during his first three seasons, leading the Bengals to postseason berths in each of the past two seasons, which included snapping a 15-year playoff drought during the team's AFC championship season in 2021 and a combined 22-10 record in his past 32 regular-season starts. The former Heisman Trophy winner has thrown for 11,774 yards, 82 touchdowns and 31 interceptions on 1,044 of 1,530 passing attempts during his three-year NFL career, which includes 4,475 yards, 35 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 414 of 606 passing in 2022.