In the first 11 weeks, Joe Burrow hovered over mediocre. Burrow had just one top-4 performance in Week 7 (QB2) and a total of four top-12 weeks, which includes Week 7. However, he put himself into MVP consideration from Week 12-17 (in Week 18). It is no surprise that he struggled to start the season as his knee was utterly blown up last year, and he missed the previous six contests of 2020. At the end of the 2021 season, he had two top-4 performances and three top-12, missing only Week 15 (QB21). Burrow only had 13.1-percent bad pass rate, but he didn't receive much protection from his offensive line (8.9-percent) sack rate. Burrow was just above average on his depth of target (8.5), and his receivers averaged a high 6.2 yards per catch. The Bengals receivers also caught most of their passes thrown their way (4.8-percent) drop rate. Interestingly, Burrow was much better at home (246) than he was on the road (156.6) in fantasy points scored.
After having a solid 2018, Burrow lit the world on fire in 2019 before being drafted with the #1 overall pick by the Bengals in 2020. He was able to avoid any injuries in 2018 and 2019.Joe Burrow has had an interesting career. He spent 2015 redshirting at Ohio State, and then the next two years as a backup to JT Barrett. Burrow actually fractured his right hand in August 2017, requiring surgery, which essentially derailed his ability to overtake JT Barrett for the starting job. After realizing he was not gonna be able to supplant Dwayne Haskins as the quarterback heading into 2018, he transferred to LSU as a graduate student.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Burrow in 2020. He suffered a rib injury in mid-January, and then his worst injury to date in late November. The offensive line for the Cincinnati Bengals really struggled to protect Burrow and the levees broke, leading to Burrow suffering a substantial left knee injury. He tore his ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus. That is 75% of the main ligaments in the knee. If his knee was a car, we would consider it totaled.
The severity of this knee injury cannot be understated, and usually this much damage only occurs in a knee dislocation, Similar to what Teddy Bridgewater had in 2016. Not many players make it back to the field after this substantial of an injury. Not only did Burrow make it back, but he was absolutely incredible in 2021.
After missing the last six games of the 2020 season, Burrow was able to start in week one of 2021, albeit a little rusty, and has not appeared to have any issues with his left knee injuries. This was an ideal recovery.
Burrow fractured his right pinky in early December 2021 and then sprained his right knee in early 2022, likely mild and this was to his good knee.
What Burrow has been able to overcome in one year is absolutely astounding. Yes modern medicine and the skilled hands of medical professionals played a substantial role in his recovery, but hard work, sweat, and determination played equally as large of a role.
Hats off to Burrow for making it look so easy, when I know it was not. The countless hours of rehab grinding did not go unnoticed and it worked out beautifully. Unfortunately the trend of him getting sacked quite often continued in 2021, but thankfully he was able to avoid any new significant injuries. While I have some future concerns about this left knee due to the amount of initial damage it suffered, overall the concern in 2022 is on the lower end.