The Cincinnati Bengals got two wins on Monday night. Along with posting a 19-16 victory over the Rams to get their first win of the season, quarterback Joe Burrow did not suffer a setback to his calf that put his status for Monday's game in question.
Burrow, whoduring the Bengals' Week 2 loss to Baltimore, said afterwords that he did not suffer any injury setbacks during Monday night's win. He initially sustained the injury during the first week of training camp. Burrow returned to practice in late July after being sidelined for a month.
"No, today we got through it," Burrow told ESPN. "Got it through it, no injuries, so moving on to next week."
Burrow knew there was a risk to playing in the game with an injury like the one he has, but he felt there was another risk that needed to be taken into consideration.
"There is risk to go out there and potentially re-injure it, but there's also a risk to go out there and be 0-3," he said after the game, "so I wanted to be out there for my guys, and I was confident I was going to be able to do what I needed to do to get the win."
The Bengals also started 0-2 last season before defeating the Jets in Week 3 and the Dolphins in Week 4, and eventually finishing the year with a 12-4 record. Clearly, the hope is for a similar type of turnaround this year.
Burrow also provided a positive update on his status moving forward.
"We're getting there," he said when asked about the status of his calf. "Every week will be better barring there's no more setbacks. We're going to keep working hard to get healthy. Move on to this week."
Burrow played with his calf considerably taped up. In what was likely an attempt to protect his calf, Burrow threw quick passes during the first half before he started to extend plays in the second half. He threw 31 passes in the first half (completing 17) and finished the game with 259 passing yards on 26 of 49 passing.
Per usual, Burrow's favorite target Monday night was fellow Pro Bowler Ja'Marr Chase, who caught 12 of 15 targets for 141 yards. Burrow made good on his comments following Cincinnati's Week 2 loss that he would find a way to get Chase more involved after he caught just 10 passes for 70 yards in the Bengals' first two games.
"He was great tonight," Burrow said of Chase. "I came into this game thinking I was just going to feed my guy. He came up big for us."
Cincinnati's offense had its best showing of the year on Monday night. Joe Mixon got things going on the ground that included his first touchdown of the season. Burrow spread the ball around by completing passes to eight different teammates. Cincinnati's line allowed just two sacks of Burrow, with both taking place during the first half. Both sacks involved future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was largely minimized during the second half.
The Bengals' offense did their part, but Monday's win was a team victory for Zac Taylor's team. Evan McPherson did his part by making four of his five field goal attempts. Cincinnati's defense came up big with two interceptions and six sacks of Matthew Stafford. Specifically, the Bengals received big nights from defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson, who had two interceptions and two sacks, respectively.
"When you have a defense like that, it makes your job as a quarterback easy," Burrow said. "It makes you take less chances and put the ball in safe spots. They played great tonight."
Barring there are no setbacks this week, Burrow will start the Bengals' upcoming game in Nashville against the Titans, who are also 1-2 after losing a 27-3 decision in Cleveland this past Sunday.