Bengals QB Joe Burrow 'ahead of schedule,' plans to 'be there on the first snap of 2021'

It was a dreary Sunday for the Cincinnati Bengals faithful in Week 11 of the 2020 season when Joe Burrow went down against the Washington Football Team.

A promising rookie campaign had stunningly concluded with a torn ACL and MCL and a long road back had begun.

Burrow believes he's running ahead of schedule on that road back and proclaimed to former Bengals great Cris Collinsworth that he intends on returning for Cincinnati's 2021 season opener.

"I'm very optimistic about where I'm at and also where the team is at," Burrow told Collinsworth on the Pro Football Focus podcast, via the team website. "Rehab is going very, very well and lifting is going very, very well. I'm in great shape. Legs feel good, knee feels good. There's still a long way to go, but I'm expecting to be there on the first snap of 2021.

"I'm expecting to play Game 1. I expect to take part in practice. I'm feeling really good. I'm ahead of schedule."

Burrow underwent surgery in December and is still in the midst of rehab, but provided a sunny forecast, telling Collinsworth he's lifting and running normally.

"It's feeling good right now," Burrow said.

That long road back still leaves Burrow with some miles to travel, but the progress and the optimism is a terrific sign for the gunslinger who had five 300-plus-yard games in his initial 10 starts.

Burrow's rookie campaign ended with him being carted off the field, but he's clearly focused on being back for the Bengals to start his second season and rekindling the process of turning around the franchise.

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