Burrow eyeing return for season opener: 'I'm ahead of schedule'

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Quarterback Joe Burrow is confident he'll be on the field for the Cincinnati Bengals' 2021 season opener.

Though Burrow still can't roll out and throw yet, he said the recovery from his knee injury is going better than expected.

"I'm very optimistic about where I'm at, and also where the team is at," Burrow said on "The Cris Collinsworth Podcast," according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

"Rehab is going very, very well, and lifting is going very, very well. I'm in great shape. Legs feel good, knee feels good. There's still a long way to go, but I'm expecting to be there on the first snap of 2021."

Burrow added: "I expect to take part in practice. I'm feeling really good. I'm ahead of schedule."

The 24-year-old tore his ACL and MCL and suffered other structural damage to his left knee last November. He underwent surgery in December.

The 2020 first overall pick was off to a strong start to his NFL career before suffering the season-ending ailment, completing 65.3% of his passes for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns against five interceptions through 10 starts. He also added three scores on the ground.

Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin recently praised Burrow, adding Cincinnati will do "everything" to give the signal-caller a solid supporting cast.

The Bengals own the fifth overall pick this year. It's expected a quarterback will be taken with each of the first three selections, meaning Cincinnati could have its pick of skill-position prospects.

"I trust the organization to do what they do and do their jobs and pick the best player," Burrow said. "I think we're in a good spot to take just the best available."

Burrow eyeing return for season opener: 'I'm ahead of schedule'
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