The NFL schedule will be officially released on Wednesday evening but to give fans a little preview of the schedule, teams officially disclosed week one matchups. While there are many intriguing games to follow, none will be more captivating for LSU fans than the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Minnesota Vikings.
Former stars on both sides of the ball will be squaring off, including quarterback Joe Burrow, wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, tight end Thaddeus Moss and defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin on the Bengals sidelines. On the the Vikings side, receiver Justin Jefferson and cornerback Patrick Peterson will be the story.
The storylines heading into the matchup will be important to follow, particularly Burrow's status in the game. While he expects to be ready for week one of the 2021 season, the last thing Cincinnati will want to do is push him before that knee is 100% ready.
“I'm very optimistic about where I'm at and also where the team is at," Burrow said on the Cris Collinsworth podcast. "Rehab is going very, very well and lifting is going very, very well. I'm in great shape. Legs feel good, knee feels good. There's still a long way to go, but I'm expecting to be there on the first snap of 2021.
"I'm expecting to play game one. I expect to take part in practice. I'm feeling really good. I'm ahead of schedule."
At receiver, it'll be interesting to watch if Chase, the No. 5 overall pick will go head-to-head with Peterson, one of the league's top corners over the last decade and who is in his first year in Minnesota. It will also be the first chance to see Chase in a live action game in more than a year and a half so it'll be interesting to see what kind of impact he has, particularly opposite Jefferson, who set records in his first year with the Vikings.
“He’s a premier receiver in this draft,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He does a lot of things really well. And, you know, when you watch the tape in 2019, it’s fun to watch Joe play again, because that’s the most recent tape you’re watching, but tremendous player and it’s obvious why it’s put himself in conversation to be a high pick.”
But at the end of the day seeing so many familiar faces on the field will be a sight to behold for many LSU fans.