What will it take for Joe Burrow to be in top shape for next season?
Friday, January 8, 2021

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow plans to be back to playing football this year. That’s the latest he is now sharing after a successful knee surgery following an injury several weeks ago that ended his 2020 season.

In his first interview since that knee injury, Burrow told Fox Sports 1 he will be back for the season opener in 2021.

“Things are on track to start the season the way I need to,” said Burrow. “Practice a little bit in fall camp and get ready to go.”

Local 12 asked Dr. Adam Metzler, a surgeon with OrthoCincy who often performs similar ACL repairs and surgeries like the kind Burrow reportedly had, just what was likely done and what it will take for Burrow to be in top-notch shape for next season.

“His surgery was in early December, so pending that, his ACL and reported MCL injury are going well. It’s a real possibility we could see him at the start of the season, maybe even mid-season pending everything is healing well and his rehab is going well,” said Dr. Metzler, a sports medicine specialist and knee surgeon.

Local 12 also asked Dr. Metzler about the risks if Burrow comes back too soon:

“There’s some data that suggest early return prior to nine months can increase your risk of repair from the surgery,” said Dr. Metzler. “His risk for reinjury would certainly be lower if he waited a little longer, provided it helps with his quad strength, his thigh strength, his core strength and a little bit longer time for biological integration, based on scientific data that we have.”

Local 12: What are you seeing in your practice with this pandemic? It’s certainly a different time and several athletes have sort of had to sit out.

Dr. Metzler: This is a new time for us. This hasn’t been a time before where we would shut down and open up, shut down and open up. Certainly, when we reopened in the spring, we saw more ACL injuries, and then in November, when the basketball season was shut down, we’ve seen another surge of ACL injuries again.