Quarterback Joe Burrow Zoomed with the Cincinnati media Tuesday for the first time since he tore his ACL Nov. 22 and on his second day back at Paul Brown Stadium he offered some looming milestones in his rehab following the Dec. 2 reconstructive surgery:
He hopes to start throwing in mid-February.
"That's the next phase of the rehab," Burrow said.
He hopes to begin running on the underwater treadmill in late February.
"About half my body weight," the 215-pound Burrow said of what he'll be putting on his knee.
If there's a pre-season schedule this year, he doubts he'll play in it, but he's still looking to return by Opening Day.
"I think I would get in practice and see how it feels and get confident through that and see how I feel," Burrow said. "I think preseason is probably pushing it a little bit. That Week 1 goal is mine.
"That's been the goal for me from the beginning. They say it's a nine to 12-month recovery and the first game is exactly nine months from my injury. We are on pace to do it right now. There is obviously a long road ahead and there are opportunities for setbacks along the road, but as far as right now, it's looking as good as it could for where I am at in the rehab process."
He's also looking to improve his deep passing this offseason by getting stronger, but that doesn't mean he's looking to gain weight.
"I don't really think about gaining weight as a goal," Burrow said. "I think about gaining muscle and getting stronger. Staying lean is big so I can stay mobile. Getting stronger is more so the goal than gaining weight."
Burrow says the only time he has pain is when he sits for an extended period of time, but other than it has subsided. Always a half-full guy, Burrow feels like he has survived what he called a "pretty devastating" moment.
"I'm past the worst part. The first two weeks, you've got to get your motion back, so they're tugging, pulling on it and its pretty miserable," Burrow said. "So I'm past all of that. It's kind of all downhill from here, there's a lot of milestones to hit and a long road ahead. It's not going to be painful or anything like that. The worst part is over and the fun part begins."
As for breaking down the injury on a sack by Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, forget it.
"It's a waste of time and I'm not going to answer any more questions about the intricacies of the injury," he said. "It's obviously pretty devastating. I was looking forward to the second half of the year both personally but also as a team. Unfortunately I wasn't about to be out there with the guys, but I'm looking forward to next year now."