“That was fun. Guy’s hard to get away from. He’s big, strong and fast,” Burrow said.
But there was also good news. Tight end Hayden Hurst (calf) and cornerback Tre Flowers (groin) went full and no one is questionable with a lingering injury.
It was a great time for Taylor to shout out head conditioning coach Joey Boese and first-year director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer Matt Summers. The only team that has played as many games as the Bengals have in the first two seasons of the 17-game schedule is the 49ers, back in the NFC title.
While they suffered more serious injuries this year than last year, the winning streak and two-year record of 27-12 is confirmation that the intense monitoring of GPS numbers by Boese and assistants Garrett Swanson and Todd Hunt is paying off.
“We work hard to make sure we’re on top of everything and that starts with Joey, Matt Summers, Garrett Swanson and Todd Hunt to do a good job with the sports science stuff,” Taylor said. “We took Ja’Marr (Chase) and Tee (Higgins) out of last year’s Super Bowl practice on Thursday because they were maxed out and we wanted them fresh on Sunday.
“We’ve tried our best to organize our training camp practices around the soft tissue stuff to try to avoid all those injuries to make sure we get through training camp, put in the physical work we need and make sure our guys are healthy and that. They are not nagging injuries going into the season. I just think that this part of the staff … (has) done a great job of coordinating together, formulating a plan, being diligent every week and not just, ‘Good as this January. what happens.’ They stay on top of it. Even yesterday Joey was putting numbers on my desk.”
What may not be in the GPS is Burrow’s pulse because he doesn’t seem to have one. He was, though, noticed how the Chiefs have increased their speed on defense with rookies like cornerback George Karlaftis. The secondary caught his eye, in particular rookie cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson.
“I’m impressed with how the rookies played. You can tell they’ve improved a lot over the season, and they’re more sound in their scheme and technique, and they’re good players,” Burrow said. “And the D line is disruptive, and you can tell they’re well-coached and good at everything they do.”
“Rookie corners, both of them are getting better every week. You can tell they put in a lot of work for what they do. They are two of the best corners we’ve played so far.”
The ping-pong ball pings and pongs. The music hits the walls. Rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt returned to his locker, one where he had a $20 bill taped to remind “there’s money on earth,” to be had.
Four quarters out of the big and it was 9-to-5. Someone asked Joey Frost what he had planned for Saturday’s flight.
“I’m pretty done with my film studies,” Burrow said. “Play some Super Smash Brothers now and then on the flight. That’s always fun.”