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The Medical Outlook series features Dr. Jene Bramel covering higher-level players with medical concerns going into the season. You'll get a rundown on players' statuses and the bottom line on whether you should target them in your drafts.
What you need to know
- Joe Burrow had a more complicated surgical course than most people who have their appendix removed
- Do not expect Burrow to be cleared to return to individual drills for weeks
- Burrow may not be cleared for contact until early September but should be available in Week 1
Burrow's surgery was not a simple appendectomy
Burrow had his appendix removed on July 26. Initial reports did not seem alarming, but observant local writers reported Burrow still had an intravenous (IV) line in his arm at a camp practice on August 1 – six days after his surgery.
It’s unusual to need IV antibiotics outside the hospital after appendix surgery. While there are multiple instances of NFL players returning to action within 14 days after having their appendix removed, Burrow's case is more complicated.
The two most likely surgical possibilities here include:
1 - Burrow had a ruptured appendix, and surgeons also needed to remove part of the intestine on either side of the appendix due to the severity of the rupture. This requires a larger incision and a period of IV antibiotics at home.
2 - Burrow had a simple appendectomy and developed an infection after surgery. That would require a drain placed through the skin to the site of infection and a period of IV antibiotics at home.
I think the first scenario is most likely. Burrow’s father described a “major surgery” and hinted it could be “weeks” before his son was ready to return. Head coach Zac Taylor said Burrow was day-to-day but refused to put a timetable on his return.
Burrow’s expected recovery and preseason outlook
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