Around the AFC North: Joe Burrow at Roughly '80-85 Percent' Joins OTAs

052921-AFC-North
Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow Was Determined to Make OTA Appearance

Joe Burrow's not at full strength following season-ending knee surgery, but the second-year quarterback felt good enough to join teammates on the field during OTAs wearing a brace on his left knee. As a team leader, Burrow wanted to send a positive message regarding his recovery.

"We have a lot of new faces on this team that need to see me there and see me working," Burrow said via ESPN.com.

Burrow said he was about "80 to 85 percent" and tossed some passes during drills. Burrow said his goal is to be "full-go" for training camp after suffering the injury on Nov. 22. In 10 starts, last year's No. 1-overall pick was 2-7-1 with 2,688 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Cincinnati drafted wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Burrow's former LSU teammate, with the fifth-overall pick, although many expected them to take offensive tackle Penei Sewell. Burrow was sacked 32 times before he was injured last season, but the Bengals coveted Chase and addressed their offensive line by taking Jackson Carmen, who is expected to play guard, in the second round.

Cincinnati's fortunes in 2021 are tied to keeping Burrow healthy, and Head Coach Zac Taylor said Burrow would take it slowly during the remainder of OTAs.

"We're not going to push the envelope here," Taylor said.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ex-Raven Chris Wormley Looks to Bounce Back From Difficult 2020

Former Ravens defensive end Chris Wormley was back on the field at OTAs after a difficult first season with the Steelers. Baltimore traded Wormley to Pittsburgh in March of 2020, but after spending three seasons in Baltimore, he wasn't expecting to be dealt. Wormley also had nagging injuries that lingered throughout the 2020 season and he played just 148 snaps. He said the adjustment to Pittsburgh and the pandemic took a toll on him mentally.

"There were a lot of times where I had a piss-poor attitude when it came to feeling rejected by the Ravens, being locked down in a pandemic and on top of that, going to a new team," Wormley said via ESPN. "Just a lot of things that have happened over the last year or so that's really made me challenge myself and challenge my mental health. I think it's made me a better person."

Wormley re-signed with Pittsburgh on a two-year deal early in free agency, and he is expected to be in the Steelers' defensive line rotation behind Cameron Heyward and Stephen Tuitt. After last year's struggles, Wormley said he will encourage more people to be honest when talking about mental health.

"There's a stigma that you're this big, tough guy who doesn't have any problems and you can deal with it yourself," Wormley said. "But there's a lot of times you just need to talk to somebody. I think the NFL as a whole has really stepped up their game when it comes to mental health awareness."

Cleveland Browns: Report Says Browns Won't Pursue Trade For Julio

The Browns were one of a few teams that decided against having full OTA workouts last week, although some players participated in individual field drills.

As for news off the field, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. wrote that the Browns won't pursue Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who is reportedly on the trading block. Cleveland already has two high-priced receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

"The Falcons are 30th in the NFL in cap space ($337,851) and can't swap one $15 million salary for another," Cabot wrote. "While I've seen and heard a number of people propose a Beckham-for-Jones swap, it's just not going to happen."

Related Content

Advertising