Ja’Marr Chase hailed Joe Burrow after the quarterback shrugged off a calf injury to guide the Cincinnati Bengals to their opening win of the season.
Burrow had been a major doubt heading into the Monday Night Football clash with the Los Angeles Rams but played through the pain barrier, throwing 26 passes for 259 yards as the Bengals eeked out a 19-16 victory at Paycor Stadium.
Chase, who led the Bengals with 12 receptions for 141 yards, was impressed with Burrow’s inner steel.
He said: “I was like, ‘You got nuts, boy. I didn’t want you to play’.
“That just shows that Joe’s hardheaded. But he’s a football player, man. You can’t knock him from being tough like that. They don’t make too many quarterbacks tough like that.
“He’s Joe Cool, Joe Brrr. Whatever you want, he’s that guy.”
Burrow’s motivation for playing was to help prevent Cincinnati slipping to their first 0-3 start since his rookie season in 2020.
“There is risk to go out there and potentially reinjure it,” he said.
“But there’s also the risk to not go out there and be 0-3. So I wanted to be out there for my guys, and I was confident that I would be able to do what I needed to get the win.
“I’d always rather throw for 400 [yards]. I pride myself on my availability, and so I was happy to be available for my guys.
“Obviously, a lot of room to improve, but I was happy to be out there.”
Next up for the Bengals is a trip to Tennessee to face the Titans on Sunday with Burrow cautiously optimistic he will be fit.
He added: “We didn’t have any setbacks today, but it’s still day to day.
“I’ve learned through this process that it can happen at any time.
“It was good to get through this one. And that means we’ll be stronger for this week.”