Bengals say Burrow 'progressing as he should' after 1st throwing session

CINCINNATI -- The most eventful thing to happen at Paycor Stadium on Friday came hours before the Cincinnati Bengals played their preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.

Quarterback Joe Burrow had a throwing session for the first time since he suffered a strained right calf July 27. Burrow then wore a bucket hat and stood on the sideline in the team's 36-19 loss to the Packers.

After the exhibition game, Bengals coach Zac Taylor didn't have much to say about Burrow's timetable to return but indicated he's trending in the right direction.

"I think things are good and he's progressing as he should," Taylor said.

While the Bengals' fifth-year coach has remained tight-lipped on when Burrow might return, he has not added any time to his initial prognosis that the star QB will be out for "several weeks," starting with when he got hurt in late July.

Friday's public throwing session was the latest in incremental updates for Burrow, who was not available to speak after the game and not in the locker room.

Burrow was with the team for Wednesday's joint practice with the Packers, the first time he was on the field for practice since he suffered the calf injury. Burrow made the decision earlier in the day that he would be a spectator.

Even though he just stood and watched, his presence was well-received by coaches and teammates.

"He's been rehabbing quite a bit," Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said after the joint practice. "He's doing a good job and to have him out at practice is always beneficial. Guys like seeing him too. I think you saw everybody excited to have him out, standing around watching."

Against the Packers, the offensive performance featuring the other quarterbacks on the roster left much to be desired.

Jake Browning, who spent the entire 2022 season on Cincinnati's practice squad, played the entire first half with the second-string offense. He was 10-of-17 passing for 95 yards and one interception.

Trevor Siemian, a signee during free agency following the departure of Brandon Allen, was 15-of-28 passing for 121 yards and an interception.

Cincinnati's lone touchdown came on defense. Safety Tycen Anderson returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown.

While Taylor said Browning and Siemian did some good things, he noted the lack of points.

"Ultimately, that's what we're judged on -- protecting the football and getting the team in the end zone," Taylor said. "Not enough of that tonight."

All eyes will continue to be on Burrow as Cincinnati prepares for its season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 10. And it appears Friday's throwing session presented no setbacks as Burrow continues the rehab process.

Said Taylor: "I think everything's been positive."