Ja’Marr Chase (still) wants Joe Burrow to sit until he’s 100 percent
During training camp, Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase urged quarterback Joe Burrow to not play until his injured calf muscle has fully healed, even if he missed five games over it.
Now that the injury has become aggravated, Chase is advocating once again that Burrow not play until he’s fully and completely ready to go.
Chase said plenty in an 82-second clip that made its way to social media on Friday, from a normal locker-room media availability.
Asked whether he thinks Burrow will play on Monday night against the Rams, Chase said this: “I told him back then, don’t play until you’re 100 percent ready to play. So, I don’t know what he’s doing.”
Was he 100 percent when he returned?
“I doubt it,” Chase said.
Asked to make a guess on whether Burrow will play, Chase called back to his prior advice.
“If I had to guess, I would say no. I would say no because I been [telling] him no,” Chase said.
Chase also raised eyebrows by seeming alarmed by the presence of Burrow on a golf cart with owner Mike Brown for an extended conversation.
“We knew something was wrong right there. . . . That was different,” Chase said.
Officially, Burrow was limited in practice on Friday. Since that’s a very broad and vague term, there’s no way of knowing what Burrow actually did.
“He didn’t really throw too many footballs today,” Chase disclosed.
So it’s not looking good, based on Chase’s comments. And Chase was right from the get go. Wait until the injury heals. Soft-tissue strains can dupe the athlete into thinking they’re healed before they are. Then the injury becomes aggravated. And it continues to be aggravated and re-aggravated and re-re-aggravated until the player shuts down long enough for it to fully heal.
The smartest move for the Bengals would be to shut Burrow down through the next four games and the Week 7 bye. That would give him six weeks off to let it fully heal.
By then, however, the Bengals could be in a very tough spot. They face the Rams, Titans, Cardinals, and Seahawks. What would 0-2 become? 0-6? 1-5? 2-4?
For now, 0-2 counts as a red alert for Chase, who was asked whether the prospect of facing the Rams without Burrow counts as real adversity.
“That’s adversity,” Chase said. “That’s 100 percent adversity. It’s stuff we never dealt with, and it’s not preseason. It actually counts. So it’s definitely adversity.”
It definitely is. In an ultra-competitive AFC, it’s the kind of adversity that could make it very hard for the Bengals to get back to the playoffs.