Zac Taylor not ruling out playing Joe Burrow during the preseason

At the start of training camp, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and team president Mike Brown both said that Joe Burrow was unlikely to play in any preseason games coming off reconstructive knee surgery.

Burrow, however, said he’d like to participate just to feel the rush again before the games count in Week One.

There’s a chance Burrow could get his wish.

On Thursday, Taylor ruled out Burrow and a handful of other players from Saturday’s preseason game against the Buccaneers — including center Trey Hopkins and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi. But Taylor also left the door open to Burrow participating in Cincinnati’s next two exhibition matchups.

“I’m not ready to rule anything out for future games,” Taylor said, via Ben Baby of ESPN.

As Baby noted, while Taylor said it wasn’t a shift, it seems like it is.

There are arguments both for and against playing starting quarterbacks in games that don’t count, with some coaches like Sean McVay vehemently against it. But Bruce Arians, fresh off winning the Super Bowl, is playing 44-year-old Tom Brady this weekend.

As long as the Bengals’ pass protection can hold up, then it might be worth throwing Burrow on the field for a series or two just to get his feet wet. But that only makes sense if he’s in low-leverage, low-risk situations.