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Bengals' Joe Burrow 'going to give people something to talk about' after fading from relevance in 2023

In the four years in which Joe Burrow has played professional football, two have concluded with the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback on injured reserve.

His most recent season ended in such fashion, too, sending Burrow into the shadows of the NFL consciousness after a wrist injury ended his campaign in Week 11.

Most might bristle at the idea of being forgotten amid a thrilling season, but not Burrow.

He relishes it.

"I believe that," Burrow during an appearance on Pardon My Take when asked if he felt people have forgotten about him. "That's what happens when you get hurt though. You don't play football. People forget about you.

"That's part of the game. If you're not out there and people aren't watching you, then there's nothing to talk about. So I'm going to give people something to talk about this year. I'm excited about it."

Burrow has plenty of experience with operating in the background, dating as far back as his early years in college. He graduated from Athens (Ohio) High School as a four-star dual-threat quarterback and the state's reigning Mr. Football, followed the dream path of signing with Ohio State, redshirted in 2015, then sat behind J.T. Barrett and the late Dwayne Haskins for three years before deciding he'd need to transfer elsewhere to earn a chance to play. He landed at LSU and took off in his second year with the Tigers, leading them to a 15-0 finish and College Football Playoff National Championship, vaulting to the top of the 2020 NFL Draft board along the way.

Cincinnati chose him first overall, and it quickly became clear Burrow was built for the pro game, appearing unfazed by the speed of the NFL while handling starting quarterback duties. A knee injury ended his rookie season, though, cutting short the promising start of Burrow's pro career.

He compiled a remarkable comeback season in 2021, leading the Bengals to Super Bowl LVI, a game they lost to the Los Angeles Rams in heartbreaking fashion. Burrow managed to stay healthy throughout the following season, but a calf injury suffered in training camp in 2023 hampered his start to that campaign. After a rough first month, Burrow and the Bengals appeared ready for takeoff when the wrist injury (and subsequent surgery) ended his season.

In 2021, much of the lead-up to that season was spent focusing on Burrow's status on his road back from knee surgery. He's already cleared multiple benchmarks this offseason with his wrist and recently admitted his top priority is to stay healthy.

Until he can prove he's able to do so on an annual basis, health will always be a question with Burrow. While he's made it a goal to remain available, he also has greater targets. Forcing his way into the NFL conversation is a good start.

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