Joe Burrow has shed his knee brace -- at least for non-contact May practices -- but he hasn't let go of his team's heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl LVI.
Burrow spoke with reporters on Tuesday and made one point very clear: He's not content with how the 2021 season ended for his Bengals.
"I'm not going to accept losing," Burrow said, via FOX 19's Joe Danneman.
Burrow begins his team's trek toward repeating as AFC champions with this spring's workouts in Cincinnati, where he participated in Tuesday's session without extra protection for his surgically repaired knee. Burrow played 2021 with the brace after suffering the injury in 2020, but a year without a significant setback has him in a better place entering 2022.
"Obviously I've been grinding, but it's also been relaxing not having to worry about, 'Am I going to be ready for the season?'" Burrow said. "I can just focus on getting my body right, making sure I'm healthy and relaxing."
Burrow told reporters he doesn't anticipate wearing the brace during games, but has yet to come to a final decision on the matter. He didn't wear it Tuesday, and if he decides to go without it in 2022, it will be an encouraging sign for a quarterback who performed excellently even while wearing the device in 2021.
Burrow took the league by storm last season, powered an unlikely run to Super Bowl LVI for the Bengals and immediately commanded the respect of the rest of the league. The greatest hurdle facing him and the Bengals in 2022: avoiding disappointment.
The quarterback isn't looking to make major changes to his game, which proved to be stellar in 2021, instead focusing on refinements. Above all, it won't be Burrow who needs to be better in 2022, it'll be his teammates, specifically the linemen tasked with protecting him.
Cincinnati has invested accordingly this offseason. It'll be up to Burrow and the new additions to prove the changes worthwhile in what promises to be a rugged AFC in 2022.