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#pounditTuesday, July 27, 2021

Ex-NFL team doctor offers prediction about Joe Burrow’s recovery

Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a very serious knee injury on Sunday, and we have since learned that the damage goes beyond just a torn ACL. While the rookie’s recovery is sure to be long and difficult, one doctor does not believe it will cost Burrow much — if any — of his 2021 season.

Dr. David Chao, who now works for Outkick but was the San Diego Chargers’ team physical for 17 seasons, offered an optimistic prognosis for Burrow during an appearance on Clay Travis’ FOX Radio show Wednesday. He said even with Burrow suffering a torn MCL and other knee damage in addition to the torn ACL, he believes the No. 1 overall pick can be ready to play come Week 1 next season.

“I have optimism. A lot of people compared it to Carson Wentz who had an ACL, and ‘LCL’, which is a totally different story, because you’re literally doing surgery on two ligaments, where in an ACL/MCL, even if there’s a small PCL component, you’re really only re-constructing the ACL, and letting the MCL and PCL heal on its own,” Chao said. “That is why I remain optimistic that Joe Burrow could be the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals Week 1 of 2021 … I don’t see the doom and gloom of, ‘Oh, my gosh, we won’t see him until 2022!’ This is NOT Teddy Bridgewater.”

A lot of that is obviously in-depth medical speak, but it sounds like Bengals fans need not panic. While Burrow’s injury has been described as worse than initially believed, he does not appear to be facing a rehab like the one Bridgewater or Alex Smith endured.

Burrow was carted off the field in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against Washington after he was hit low and his leg bent awkwardly underneath him. He finishes with 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions in what was an extremely promising rookie campaign.

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