CINCINNATI — A snag in contract negotiations is not why Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is not practicing, coach Zac Taylor said on Tuesday.
In a virtual news conference, Taylor quickly and firmly denied that Burrow’s absence is related to the inability between his side and the Bengals to reach a contract extension. Burrow has not participated in practice since he suffered a strained right calf on the second day of preseason workouts.
That said, Taylor also didn’t seem overly concerned about his star quarterback’s road back to the field.
“I think he has a very healthy body,” Taylor said with a smirk. “And I’m encouraged by that.”
Throughout Burrow’s contract negotiations and injury recovery, the Bengals have remained tight-lipped about where things stand. That remained the case on Tuesday when Taylor spoke to reporters after the 4 p.m. deadline to cut rosters down to 53 players. Taylor was noncommittal when asked if Burrow will return to practice this week.
“We’ll see,” Taylor said.
The fifth-year coach also declined to give a more elaborate update on Burrow’s prognosis since he suffered the injury on July 27. The team’s season opener is Sept. 10.
While Burrow has been recovering from the strained calf, Jake Browning and Trevor Siemian competed for the team’s No. 2 job. After a battle that lasted through all three preseason games, Browning emerged as the victor. Siemian, a seventh-year veteran, was released ahead of the team’s deadline.
Taylor said the team will continue to evaluate options to be Cincinnati’s No. 3 quarterback. However, Browning appears to be solidified as the top backup.
“I feel really good about Jake being the No. 2,” Taylor said.