Joe Burrow was dealt a tough blow when he suffered a calf injury just prior to the regular season. But after leading the Bengals to their first victory of the season, he made his mindset on battling the injury and his decision to play very clear.

Simply put, for Burrow, the risk vs. reward wasn’t even close in his mind, as he couldn’t let Cincinnati fall to 0–3, as ESPN’s Ben Baby highlighted.

“There is risk to go out there and potentially reinjure it,” Burrow said. “But there’s also the risk to not go out there and be 0–3. So I wanted to be out there for my guys, and I was confident that I would be able to do what I needed to get the win.”

Joe Burrow made it known he couldn’t let the Bengals fall to 0-3 in the matchup against the Rams.

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA TODAY Network

Although Burrow didn’t light up the scoreboard or throw for three touchdown passes, he gutted out a tough 19–16 victory against a Rams. Burrow completed 26-of-49 passes for 259 yards and one interception. 

But one area where the Bengals signal-caller showed his difference-making was the ability to consistently link up with No. 1 wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Chase caught 12-of-15 passes for 141 yards in his first statement game of the 2023 NFL season.

The Bengals avoided the 0–3 start, and next up will head to Tennessee to face the Titans in Week 4.