• The Bengalis really leave joe burrow guide his return to the practice field—and gave him all the time he needed (and obviously needed medical clearance, too) to get to where he felt completely comfortable on the field. But as for the rest of the job? Burrow hasn’t missed much. He rejoined the meetings a few days after his appendectomy and was in the building as long as he otherwise would have been.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably best to view this as if it were, say, a sprained ankle. Just avoiding doing anything too aggressive until he feels better, where a player would still do all the mental work to get ready for the season and start working when he gets healthy.
Then there’s this: The Bengals were planning to give Burrow only one or two sets of plays in preseason games anyway, and they may not have even done so if Burrow felt he didn’t need it. So yes, I would expect to see the same old Burrow when the season starts.
• Tuesday is a great day for the Jets. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform arthroscopic knee surgery on Zach Wilson, and it won’t be until he’s actually on the knee that he’ll know if the second-year QB will need to have his meniscus trimmed (which would mean he’d be out for a few weeks). or repaired (probably out of season). And while New York doctors are optimistic, there’s really no way to know for sure until his knee is open.
There is also reason to be concerned about the stability of the knee, depending on how it has buckled. My understanding is that trimming the meniscus won’t really help in that department. So at least it’s something to look forward to, especially since Wilson is a quarterback who moves around a lot.
Regardless, I hope Tuesday goes according to plan for Wilson.
• While we’re at it, I’d categorize the Jets’ interest in quarterbacks similar to where the browns they are, based on how long their holder will be absent. If Wilson is out for a month, I suppose they would be more than comfortable in the future with skinny joe Y mike white. If it was months, plural, then I think they would explore their options.
That, by the way, is where Jimmy Garoppolo it would come into play for Cleveland or the Jets. So he 49ers I’ll be following all of this closely as well.
• In the wake of Wilson’s injury, I’ll say this (and knock on wood): It looks like there were a lot fewer injuries this year than last year. And I have to wonder if that’s because teams are being more intentional about pushing players at full speed, which, to some degree, they have to do because of the changing rules. That doesn’t mean there is I haven’t been bad injuries. broncos WR tim patrick, for example, the anterior cruciate ligament was torn. They just seem to be happening much less frequently than in previous summers.
And one thing I know for sure is that there’s a lot of tinkering going on when it comes to those things, just going from camp to camp. With even more rules in place this year than before (you can’t use full pads more than two days in a row), something like that had to happen. But it goes beyond adhering to guidelines: The two teams I started my camping tour with (the Browns and Bills), for example, couldn’t have handled the acclimatization period more differently from each other.
It will probably take time to figure out who is doing things the right way and who is a little off the mark. But if it gets everyone to a place where we have healthier players playing throughout the season, then obviously it would make it worth going through all the trial and error. (And yes, that’s still subject to further analysis, as the early stages of the regular season are likely to tell us a lot about how well this is all working out.)
• I’ll give Russell Wilson credit for not hiding his big picture in an era where athletes are trained to say they only pay attention to what’s directly in front of them, and nothing else. I asked the broncos quarterback two Thursdays ago if he thinks much about the legacy he will leave behind in professional football.
“Always,” he replied. “Every day.”
And as for what he wants that legacy to be, he said he would like to be remembered as “one of the greatest winners of all time. That’s what it’s about. That’s why I wear heels.”
• It’s hard not to love Aidan Hutchinson’s stellar NFL turnaround (last November notwithstanding). The Lions rookie broke into the training camp news cycle when hard knocks broadcast his moving portrayal of Michael Jackson Billie John for your peers last week. And then he punctuated it by celebrating an inning for loss. in the mj in Friday’s preseason opener against the Falcons.
Even better? I was told that before the game, she promised her mother that she would pay tribute to Jackson if he made a big play. And maybe that’s not Babe Ruth calling attention to him, but he’s pretty good.
• Xavier McKinney He came out of college in 2021 with a pretty powerful sponsor: his college coach, Nick Saban. That spring, I heard from scouts how Saban had gotten excited about McKinney and his future in the NFL, and it caught the attention of a lot of teams. And now the reason why is set in New York, where new giants DC Wink Martindale has decided to give McKinney the green dot, making him the go-to person to communicate with the coaches via headset. He positions him, more or less, as the quarterback of the defense.
A big key to Martindale’s defense is having smart safeties who can run the show and make adjustments down the middle. That’s why Martindale loved Eric Weddle so much and why Chuck Clark became such an important piece for Baltimore.
The fact that McKinney is being cast in that kind of role in his sophomore year says a lot about him. And he tells you a lot about what Saban was trying to tell teams two years ago.
• The JJ Arcega-Whiteside trade is a good example of how swinging and missing a draft pick can end up costing a team. The failure of Arcega-Whiteside was part of the Eagles having to draft wide receivers in the first round for the next two years in a row (Jalen Reagor, devonta smith), and then having to hand out a first-round pick to get a guy (oh brown) to be the most important goal that was supposed to be the product of Stanford.
What’s also interesting about Arcega-Whiteside is that he was picked only six picks after Brown in 2019. That year, 12 receivers made the top 80 picks. Five have landed big second contracts (Brown, deebo samuel, D. K. Metcalf, diontae johnson Y Terry McLaurin), with four of those deals exceeding $20 million per year. Meanwhile, four of the 12 (hollywood brown, N’Keal Harry, Jalen HurdArcega-Whiteside) are no longer with the teams that drafted them, with a fifth (andy isabel) having spent part of this off-season on the trading bloc.
• The Roquan Smith The situation is getting weirder, with the NFL’s Board of Directors warning teams Monday about an agent posing as Smith’s agent trying to promote trade talks. As we said in the MMQB column on Monday morning, trying to get fair value for Smith won’t be easy for the Bears.
• The Cowboys’ penalty numbers from the weekend—they were called 17 (!) times in Denver on Saturday night—certainly stood out to me, especially when you consider how last year ended for Dallas. And it seems to be one of those things that, even if your backups are done, would be systemic in nature. So despite all the irrelevant stuff going on in preseason games, the next couple of weeks are probably worth keeping an eye on.
More NFL coverage:
• Aaron Rodgers explains why he is now at peace
• Ranking the best QB moves of the 2022 offseason
• Pete Carroll remains strong, establishing Seahawks culture
• Mailbag: Three teams that may be interested in Roquan Smith