Burrow: Appendix ruptured, prompting surgery

CINCINNATI — What initially felt like discomfort for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow turned into a more serious and pressing matter, he said Wednesday.

In his first news conference since his appendectomy on July 26, Burrow said his appendix ruptured, which prompted surgery. The third-year player will continue his progress on Wednesday when he participates in team drills at practice for the first time since the procedure.

It’s part of the plan to get Burrow ready for the start of the regular season on Sept. 11.

Burrow said he is looking to add weight and return his body to its pre-surgery form ahead of the team’s Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He said he is not expecting to play in the preseason. “I think it will be OK,” Burrow said. “We have a good plan as far as nutrition and weight room and all that stuff. I feel good right now and just going to keep feeling better.”

Information available at the time indicated that it was more of a routine procedure. However, that proved not to be the case once Burrow was examined.

“It wasn’t normal appendicitis that you hear about,” Burrow said. “I didn’t really feel much. Just getting checked out and had some discomfort so we thought we’d get it checked out. Turns out I had it. So we had to get it fixed.”

While Burrow was on the mend, he watched practices from a medical cart. Even though he couldn’t participate, Burrow said he wanted to be with his teammates so he could mentally get back into the swing of things with the defending AFC champions.

“You’re in a hospital for however many days and you start to feel like a sick person,” Burrow said. “So you want to get back out with the guys and feel healthy again.”

He declined to reveal how much weight he lost because of the surgery. Burrow said doctors permitted him to start tossing footballs two weeks after the procedure.

On Sunday, he ramped things up with his first official practice. He participated in individual drills and took all of the throwing reps during a 7-on-7 drill, an audible that indicated how good he was feeling. Burrow said that he lacked the preferred velocity on his throws, a side effect of the surgery.

“When they cut into you and do all that stuff your core is going to lose some muscle and some strength just getting that back,” Burrow said.

This marks the latest preseason abnormality for Burrow since he entered the NFL. In 2020, his rookie preseason was upended by COVID-19 and featured no games. Last year, Burrow played one series in the preseason finale following major knee surgery that ended his rookie season.

“I’d like to have a normal offseason at some point,” Burrow said. “That would be great. Going into the season feeling as good as I can, but that hasn’t been the reality for three years. Make the most of what you got.

“We’ll try again next year.”

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