Latest on Cincinnati Bengals QB

No news is good news for the Cincinnati Bengals and fantasy football managers when it comes to quarterback Joe Burrow and his calf injury. Here is the latest on the star QB’s status.

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What Happened to Joe Burrow?

While no one from the organization has gone on the record and said the plan is for Burrow to be ready for Week 1, that has been the target date ever since head coach Zac Taylor offered the “several weeks” timeline on July 27, the day after Burrow went down late in the second practice of training camp. That was six weeks and four days out from the season opener in Cleveland.

That Burrow stepped on the Paycor Stadium field and essentially did a full pregame routine — in full view of the television cameras — prior to the preseason opener was a sign that his rehab is progressing as hoped, if not even better.

One thing that has not been in full view of cameras or other media is the team’s daily morning walkthroughs at the indoor practice facility.

Taylor was asked earlier this week if Burrow had been participating in those half-speed sessions.

“There’s a lot of things he’s involved in behind the scenes,” he said.

Translation: Yes.

Burrow spent the first couple of weeks after the injury doing rehab during the practice sessions, but he’s since been out on the field, listening to the play calls and taking mental notes.

If your draft is this weekend, you should view Burrow the same way you did on July 26.

He missed three weeks following his appendectomy prior to last year’s training camp, and he lost a lot of weight. He was nowhere near 100 percent when the season started, yet he still put up some of the best numbers in the league.

The calf injury isn’t having near the physical effect on Burrow as the appendectomy did, but the major difference is he won’t be coming back if he’s not 100 percent. If his progress somehow slows over the next few weeks, then yes, missing a start or two could still be on the table.

But that’s a what-if scenario fantasy players shouldn’t be too fearful of when it comes time to draft a quarterback.

What Does This Mean for Burrow’s Fantasy Ranking?

Fantasy analysis from PFN Fantasy Analyst Tim Martens 

From a redraft perspective, there may be some hesitation in taking Burrow early in your fantasy drafts. Burrow has landed right around QB3/QB4 in most fantasy rankings.

However, this injury could cause Burrow to miss time or not be as effective early in the season as it lingers. Managers may want to aim in another direction if they are investing early in their draft on a QB.

Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields, and Justin Herbert are all QBs who have finished above or within two points per game of Burrow in recent years. If Burrow is going to be battling through a calf injury for a portion of the year and potentially missing time, all of these quarterbacks are intriguing alternatives. The best ability is availability for your fantasy teams.

From a dynasty or keeper perspective, Burrow’s value doesn’t move for me at all. He’s still 26 years old and in an offense with weapons like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

He’s played in two AFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl in his first three years in the NFL. There’s no reason to be getting shaky on Burrow’s value if you’re invested in him for the long haul. He’s still an elite talent and a cornerstone for your team.

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