CINCINNATI — The Bengals had high expectations for Joe Burrow when they selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Not only did the 23-year-old deliver, but he exceeded most people's expectations.
Burrow was named a team captain and instantly became the face of the Bengals' franchise. He embraced the pressure, despite knowing the weight of an organization rest on his shoulders.
That's one of the many reasons why the season-ending knee injury he suffered in Sunday's 20-9 loss to Washington was so painful.
Burrow isn't just the Bengals' best player. He's the beacon of hope that the organization has desperately needed for years.
"Obviously no matter what it hurts to see one of your guys go down, but to see it's your quarterback, to see it's Joe, to see it's a leader and a captain of your team—all those things and the severity of it—that definitely is a gut punch," tight end C.J. Uzomah said on the Bengals Booth Podcast. "Not being there is 10 times worse. I'm watching this on TV and I'm just like 'man, I just want to give him some love, show him some love.'"
Uzomah is also out for the season. He suffered a torn right Achilles in Week 2 against the Browns.
The former fifth-round pick told an interesting story about Burrow's time in the training room.
"Today I saw him in there and he seems high-spirited," Uzomah said. "He was asking a bunch of questions about like, 'hey, can I do this? Hey can I do this? If I try to flex this right now, is that OK?' And the trainer Nick (Cosgray) was like 'yes, does that not hurt?' And he (Burrow) was like 'no, it feels a lot better already today.' And I was doing the rest of my rehab and finishing up and Nick came to help me out and he was like 'that guy's a beast. That's insane. His pain tolerance has to be ridiculous for that.'"
READ MORE: C.J. Uzomah Recovery Ahead of Schedule
READ MORE: Zac Taylor Believes in the Bengals' Culture
The Bengals are hopeful that Burrow can return for the start of the 2021 season, but that is far from guaranteed. He is expected to make a full recovery after suffering one of the worst looking knee injuries we've seen in quite some time.
Listen to Dan Hoard's entire conversation with Uzomah below. For more on the Bengals, including the latest NFL news, go here!