The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals both have key players dealing with “soreness” in practice this week, but Sean McVay is not worried about Puka Nacua being unavailable for Monday Night Football. The same can’t be said for Zac Taylor and Joe Burrow.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor noted on Thursday that “soreness is an issue” for Burrow, who is still dealing with a calf injury suffered at the start of training camp. Burrow re-aggravated the injury in Week 2 and was wearing a sleeve on that leg on Thursday.
“I think we just gotta keep the conversation going every day and see where he’s at,” Taylor said.
If Burrow can’t start, the Bengals will turn to backup Jake Browning. A former undrafted free agent out of Washington, Browning has played four offensive snaps in his career. However, even if Burrow starts, he will need to play better than he has in the first two weeks. Cincinnati gained just six first downs in Week 1 and is 0-2 following a loss to the Ravens in Week 2. The Bengals are 32nd in total yards.
On L.A.’s side, Sean McVay says that Puka Nacua is dealing with bruised ribs and that he will participate in walkthroughs but not practice. There were a number of players limited in practice this week, but McVay doesn’t expect any of them to miss Monday night: Center Brian Allen (illness), Joe Noteboom (shoulder), Cobie Durant (groin), Jonah Williams (back).
With Puka, McVay says that the Rams will need to be “mindful” of his workload as the rookie has been the focal point of the offense through two games. This could mean additional targets for players like Tutu Atwell, Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, Demarcus Robinson, Brycen Hopkins, or Tyler Higbee. My condolences to the fantasy football players out there, it seems like the Puka show will feature fewer fireworks for the time being.
Or maybe McVay’s just being coy.