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NFL News Live Updates: Aaron Donald and Sean McVay want to 'run it back!'; Joe Burrow's MCL injury, and more

The Athletic NFL Staff
February 16, 2022 at 9:02 PM EST
NFL News Live Updates: Aaron Donald and Sean McVay want to 'run it back!'; Joe Burrow's MCL injury, and more

Amid the recent vague answers about their respective futures, Aaron Donald and Sean McVay didn't seem like two men thinking about retirement as they declared they wanted to "run it back" to the crowd at the Rams' Super Bowl LVI victory parade in Los Angeles on Wednesday. And earlier today, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, who just signed a six-year contract extension, said that quarterback Joe Burrow has a sprained MCL, but won't need surgery. Check back here throughout the day for live updates on that and more of the biggest headlines around the NFL.

Here's what you need to know

February 16, 2022 at 6:11 PM EST

Sean McVay wants Aaron Donald to 'Run it back!' All-Pro DL says 'Why not?' at Rams' victory parade

Rams coach Sean McVay made it quite clear at his team's Super Bowl victory parade that he wanted All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald to "Run it back." And Donald seemed to be a fan of the idea.

While on stage in front of fans, McVay was handed a microphone and started chanting to Donald: "Run it back! Run it back!"

Donald replied: "We built a super team. We could bring the super team back. Why not run it back. We could be world champs again," as he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy over his head much to the delight of the Rams fans in attendance.

The exchange comes amid speculation about whether McVay and Donald will return to the team.

McVay told the Los Angeles Times “We’ll see,” when asked about the possibility of retiring or taking a break from coaching to work in broadcasting on Monday. When asked if he thought winning the Super Bowl might make it easier to step away, the 36-year-old head coach also said "you could definitely say that."

Reports surfaced before Super Bowl LVI that Donald said there was a strong possibility he would retire if the Rams won. After the game, the star defender said he was "living in the moment right now."

On Wednesday, it sounded much more like McVay and Donald would be returning for the 2022 season. Rams COO Kevin Demoff took a few moments with best writers at the parade, and when asked about McVay’s future, he gestured back to the stage and said, “You just saw Sean on stage…he’s ready to go defend our title.”

It goes without saying that getting both McVay and Donald back would be a huge boost for the Rams, who are currently without a first-round pick until 2024, making it more difficult to land an impact player who could fill the enormous void created by a potential Donald departure.

(Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Athletic NFL Staff
The Athletic NFL Staff

February 16, 2022 at 6:10 PM EST

Joe Burrow won’t need surgery on sprained MCL, Zac Taylor says

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a sprained MCL in the Super Bowl that won't require surgery, according to coach Zac Taylor. The sprain will require rest and rehab but is not expected to be a major offseason limitation.

Burrow, 25, led the Bengals on an improbable run to the Super Bowl, which the Rams won, 23-20. A second-year QB, Burrow was sacked seven times by the Los Angeles defensive front, and he faced intense pressure throughout much of the game, particularly in the second half. He threw for 263 yards in the game, with one touchdown, zero interceptions and a 66.7 completion percentage. On Wednesday, Taylor said Burrow played through a sprained MCL in the game, a re-aggravation from December.

The injury occurred with about 12 minutes in the fourth quarter when he was sacked for the seventh and final time of the night, tying the Super Bowl record. The Rams' Von Miller met him in the pocket and the All-Pro edge rusher pulled him to the ground as fellow linebacker Justin Hollins piled on Burrow from another angle, which caused Burrow’s right knee to twist. Burrow needed a minute to get up off the field and limped towards the sideline. He stayed in the game, nearly leading the Bengals to their first-ever Super Bowl win.

"I wasn't coming out," he said after the game, adding: "I'm disappointed in my performance overall. I thought I could have played better, give us a better chance to win but, you live, and you learn."

On the season, Burrow completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 4,611 yards, 34 TDs and 14 interceptions for a sensational 108.3 passer rating, despite playing behind an offensive line that was widely considered a liability. His numbers marked a significant improvement over his rookie season, when he completed 65.3 percent of his attempts for 2,688 yards, 13 TDs, five picks and an 89.8 passer rating. His rookie season came to an end due to a torn ACL and MCL.

Cincinnati is expected to compete in 2022 and beyond, led by its franchise QB in Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy and a national title at LSU before going No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. On Wednesday, the team signed Taylor to a contract extension through the 2026 season.Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a sprained MCL in the Super Bowl that won't require surgery, according to coach Zac Taylor. The sprain will require rest and rehab but is not expected to be a major offseason limitation.

The Athletic NFL Staff
The Athletic NFL Staff

February 16, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST

Bengals sign head coach Zac Taylor to contract extension through 2026 season after Super Bowl loss

Fresh off their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, the Bengals have signed head coach Zac Taylor to an extension through the 2026 season, the team announced.

Taylor, 38, helped Cincinnati win the franchise's first playoff game in 31 years, ending the longest active drought in the four major North American sports. Hired before the 2019 season, Taylor's Bengals went 2-14 in 2019 and 4-11-1 in 2020. They broke through in 2021 with second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, going 10-7 before and winning the AFC North division for the first time since 2015 en route to an improbable Super Bowl appearance. The Rams, Taylor's previous employer, beat Cincinnati 23-20.

"I know the effort and passion Zac brings to the building and to our team, and I am pleased by his approach," Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement. "And I think the city of Cincinnati sees him the way the players and I do. He's brought excitement to the town and deserves credit and recognition for that.

The Athletic NFL Staff
The Athletic NFL Staff

February 16, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST

Q&A: What's behind NFL's 14% ratings increase for Super Bowl LVI?

Super Bowl LVI, a 23-20 Rams victory over the Bengals in Los Angeles, was viewed by an average of 112.3 million viewers, a 14 percent increase over last year's game, according to NBC. It's the Super Bowl's best ratings since Patriots-Falcons drew 113 million viewers on average in 2017. We asked The Athletic's sports business expert Bill Shea why that might be the case:

"The Super Bowl is the biggest American TV audience of the year and has been for decades. Last year’s viewership was down as part of the wider decline in overall primetime viewing – a product of the weird pandemic trend of people watching TV less and the much longer trend of cord-cutting that’s seen more than 30 million U.S. homes drop cable.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a general return of audiences to live sports to pre-pandemic numbers, so it’s zero surprise the Super Bowl saw a rebound. NBC airing the game across Peacock and on Telemundo increased the eyeball count, too. That said, the broadcast’s age 18-49 demographic was 38.45 million, which is better by more than 4 million over last year, but still ranks second lowest in the known Super Bowl history for that metric (based on Sports Media Watch data)."

Bill Shea
Bill Shea·
Senior Writer, Sports Business

February 16, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST

Super Bowl 2023 odds: Chiefs, Bills tie as favorites; Rams, Bengals, Cowboys round out top 5

The Chiefs and the Bills are the initial betting favorites to win Super Bowl LVII, via BetMGM. The participants in an epic AFC divisional playoff game during this season's playoffs are tied as favorites at +750.

The Rams (+1100) and the Bengals (+1200) rank third and fourth, respectively, to win the 2023 Super Bowl. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI on Sunday night, defeating the Bengals 23-20 in SoFi Stadium.

The Cowboys (+1200) sit tied with Cincinnati. A three-team cluster comes in next — 49ers, Packers and Broncos. The Buccaneers dropped down the list of contenders after quarterback Tom Brady retired with Tampa Bay at +2500. The teams with the worst odds are the Jaguars, Lions, Jets and Texans.

Here’s a look at the Super Bowl LVII odds for every team:

Buffalo Bills: +750

Kansas City Chiefs: +750

Los Angeles Rams: +1100

Cincinnati Bengals: +1200

Dallas Cowboys: +1200

Denver Broncos: +1600

Green Bay Packers: +1600

San Francisco 49ers: +1600

Baltimore Ravens: +2000

Arizona Cardinals: +2000

Tennessee Titans: +2200

New England Patriots: +2200

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +2500

Los Angeles Chargers: +2500

Indianapolis Colts: +2500

Cleveland Browns: +3000

New Orleans Saints: +4000

Seattle Seahawks: +4000

Philadelphia Eagles: +4000

Pittsburgh Steelers: +4000

Minnesota Vikings: +4000

Washington Commanders: +5000

Atlanta Falcons: +5000

Carolina Panthers: +5000

Las Vegas Raiders: +5000

Miami Dolphins: +5000

New York Giants: +6600

Chicago Bears: +6600

Jacksonville Jaguars: +10000

Detroit Lions: +15000

Houston Texans: +15000

New York Jets: +15000

The Athletic NFL Staff
The Athletic NFL Staff