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Quick Hits: Bengals Locker Room Cautiously Optimistic On Burrow; Grateful Hendrickson Extends Family Stay

QB Joe Burrow (left) talks to TE Irv Smith Jr. during day 2 of Training Camp 2023 at Kettering Health Practice Fields on Thursday, July 27 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
QB Joe Burrow (left) talks to TE Irv Smith Jr. during day 2 of Training Camp 2023 at Kettering Health Practice Fields on Thursday, July 27 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cautious optimism prevailed in the Bengals locker room after they watched Pro Bowl quarterback Joe Burrow leave the field late in Thursday's sweltering practice at the Kettering Health Practice Fields with a calf issue.

He told his main man, wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, that he'd be OK and that was good enough for Chase.

Head coach Zac Taylor confirmed Burrow hurt his calf and that he did wear a sleeve on it for the Thursday practice but said he's waiting for more information.

"I think a lot of guys after the first day had some soreness," Taylor said.

What a difference a day makes isn't a cliché for nothing.

A day after an ebullient first practice of training camp, which was Burrow's first full work in a July practice in his four-year career, he stumbled to a limp as he scrambled out of the pocket and then sat down on the field.

"You could hear a pin drop," said cornerback Cam Taylor -Britt.

"Me and (nose tackle DJ Reader) were running kind of parallel with him," said center Ted Karras, who seemed satisfied after checking Burrow in the training room. "You could hear us both gasp. I think Joe will be OK. I don't know the extent. We'll see. I'm not the expert, but I think Joe will be OK."

The closest thing to an expert Thursday was defensive end Sam Hubbard, who missed a week late last season with a medial calf strain. He has no idea if that's the injury Burrow suffered, but the one thing he knows is that his calf needed time to heal.

"I know about calf strains all too well. They're really painful. They're not the end of the world, but they do linger a little bit," Hubbard said. "I think he and the training staff will do the right thing to take care of this in training camp and be ready to go."

Hubbard called it "a tough scene." Here's Burrow, a guy who missed most of the last training camp with an appendectomy and didn't start the 2021 camp until about halfway because of his ACL rehab. And no one started his rookie camp in 2020 on time because of COVID.

But Chase got a nod from Burrow as he sat on the grass and that was good enough for him.

"I went over there to talk to him and see how he was feeling," Chase said. "We always give each other that look, that nod. He told me he's going to be all right. He's a real strong dude. I wasn't really worried. I believe he'll be all right. He's a strong dude. He's hard-headed sometimes, but he's a strong dude. He'll be all right."

Burrow had just come off a terrific 4-for-4 team session that included one of his classic go-balls to Chase.

_Pro Bowl edge Trey Hendrickson didn't practice in team drills Thursday after signing a one-year extension that keeps him in Cincinnati through the 2025 season.

But that was planned. So was getting a deal from a place that he loves.

After practice, Hendrickson said he felt like the Bengals gave him a shot when he signed a four-year $60 million deal in 2021 when the Saints didn't. Twenty-two sacks later he's also very comfortable with a team that he believes cares about him and his family.

He said he was totally in sync with the coaches and management when he opted to miss the 2022 OTAs because he wanted to stay in Nashville, where his wife was finishing up her master's in pharmacy at Lipscomb University. That was huge for him.

"Family-owned. Family run. It's really special how much they care about my personal life," Hendrickson said. "It was full communication. That speaks volumes. I can say it until I'm blue in the face."

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