The Browns have beaten the Bengals in five consecutive games at home - which should come in handy given that today’s game is at Cleveland Browns Stadium - and eight out of the last 10 overall in the series against their AFC North Division rivals.
If that was not enough, Cleveland’s new-look defensive line may be lining up against a limited Joe Burrow as the Cincinnati quarterback is reportedly still feeling the impact of the calf injury that sidelined him for the entire preseason.
That is according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, who reports that fans should “keep an eye” on Burrow’s mobility and movement if he is flushed from the pocket:
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow will start today against the Cleveland Browns after missing the entire preseason with a calf injury. The injury appears to be healed, per sources. However, I was told to keep an eye on his mobility and movement outside the pocket.— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) September 10, 2023
Burrow is certainly enough of a threat to any defense even if he has to stay in the pocket all day, but it could still be a long day for Cincinnati’s offense if it turns out that his calf is still bothering him.
Getting after Burrow has never been an issue for Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett, who has 11 sacks and 21 quarterback hits in nine career games against the Bengals and posted at least one sack against the Bengals in six consecutive games.
A stationary Burrow could also present opportunities for new defensive ends Za’Darius Smith and Ogbo Okoronkwo to open their Cleveland sack accounts in the season opener.
The Browns and Bengals kick off today at 1 p.m. Be sure to stay tuned to Dawgs By Nature throughout the day for plenty of commentary in our game threads and post-game reactions.