On Tuesday, Watson made a public offer of assistance to Burrow while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.
“I just want to say prayers out to Joe Burrow and his family and him and his team, the Cincinnati Bengals,” Watson said. “That’s just a tough situation. I watched the play . . . and that just kind of puts things in perspective where it can be any play. So you’ve just got to be grateful for the position you’re in, but sending my best wishes and prayers out to him and his family.
“If he’s got any questions, I dealt with the same thing my rookie year around a similar time, kind of November-ish. He can always reach out to me and I can reach out to him. Prayers out to him. Hopefully a speedy recovery. I would just say when I came back it was just definitely making sure that I was 100 percent and I was really, really comfortable, especially at this level where everything is flying around. But once you’re out there, you’ve just got to play full throttle. That’s the part of the game. You kind of know situations are going to happen. With me, with my situation, when I did it in practice, I didn’t know it was going to happen then and then it happened. When I came back, I kind of started off a little shaky. But after the first couple of plays I was like, ‘Hey, I got to cut it loose.’ If not, then I’m going to be a burden for the team and then for myself, too. I want to be able to play to my full potential.”
Watson told PFT Live during a Super Bowl week visit that the ACL quite possibly was “loosened up” the prior Sunday against the Seahawks, and that it then went the rest of the way without contact in practice. Burrow’s injury is more serious than a simple ACL tear, and the rehab period could be even longer.
However long it takes, Watson’s perspective makes sense. The player who plays after tearing an ACL can’t be thinking about it. After Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer tore an ACL in the 2005 playoffs after taking a blow to his plant leg, it took Palmer a while to get comfortable exposing his plant leg again.
“It took me a full year, plus another six, seven games into the next season, to really feel comfortable again and not see ghosts,” Palmer has said. “There would be times when I’d drop back and I’d see color flash, and I’d pull my leg back or not step into a throw because the memory was fresh.”
Burrow will have a long road, but he seems to be able to meet the challenge. And with people like Watson willing to help, hopefully Burrow will be back to 100 percent sooner than later.