Joe Burrow is excited for the 2021 season. And not just because he’ll be back on the field. But because he believes things are going to go well when he’s out there.

Coming off ACL and MCL tears in his left knee that ended his 2020 rookie season, Burrow is set to begin his second year in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, when they host the Minnesota Vikings. On Wednesday, the former LSU quarterback shared his thoughts heading into the opener.

“I expect to be better,” Burrow told the media. “I put in a lot of work this offseason that I’m excited to show off — as well as all of our guys have. We’re a much better football team that has prepared the way we need to and understands how to win games now, I think. So I’m excited to put that on tape.”

Burrow didn’t get on the field much during the preseason, appearing only briefly in the Bengals’ final game against the Miami Dolphins. So Sunday will mark his first extended action since the injury.

Although Burrow’s last regular-season action resulted in him getting knocked out for the remainder of the year, he’s not showing apprehension about taking hits now that he’s healthy again.

“It’s exciting to play football again,” Burrow told the media. “I’m a football player, not just a quarterback. And that’s part of the game. I’m excited to experience it.”

Before the injury, Burrow was having a solid rookie season. After getting taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, he passed for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in 10 games.

Since then, Cincinnati’s offense has improved. It drafted former LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, adding him to a receiving corps that already featured Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. So Burrow could have the players around him in order to put up big numbers.

The Bengals and Vikings are set to kick off on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.

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