Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase remained adamant that he doesn’t want to see injured quarterback Joe Burrow on the field for the team’s season-opening road game Sept. 10 against the Cleveland Browns.
The 23-year-old wideout originally made the comment Friday during an interview with NFL Network and doubled down on the remark Sunday, saying he meant it “100 percent.”
Burrow is currently sidelined with a right calf strain he suffered July 27 and his status for Week 1 is unclear.
“I just want him to be 100 percent healthy to play,” Chase said. “I don’t want him rushing nothing. I don’t want people in his ear telling him to play a certain time. I just want him to be healthy. That’s not me telling him to play this certain game.
“That’s me saying be healthy when you’re back — 100 percent healthy.”
Chase’s view stems from his prioritizing the long-term goals over short-term ambitions.
The Bengals have appeared in back-to-back AFC Championship Games, both against the Kansas City Chiefs, and hope to return to the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons.
“We’d be OK as long as he’s there for the end of the season,” Chase said. “We worried about the bigger picture, not the small picture here. That’s what we trying to win, so as long as he comes in at the point in the season we need him we’ll be OK.”
Burrow is expected to be sidelined for several weeks and has roughly one month to get ready for the in-state road rivalry matchup against the Browns.
Chase knows how much a player can use that extra time to get back to where they need to be physically following an injury.
The former first-round pick sat out an extra week last year when he was recovering from a hip injury.
“I gave myself an extra game to heal,” Chase said. “I didn’t rush nothing. I made sure I was ready to be back, even though I felt good the week before. I just told them I didn’t want to play. Just to give myself and my body the rest that it needs.”