Cris Collinsworth, one of the greatest receivers in Bengals history, made a modern-day connection Tuesday night when he went long with quarterback Joe Burrow in a 30-minute Pro Football Focus podcast.

Burrow told Collinsworth he's been throwing for more than a week from a drop as well as flinging play-action passes to a hearty band of stationary equipment managers. Even though he notes he's just half-way through a nine-month rehab with his Dec. 2 reconstructive knee surgery and setbacks could still loom, he's confident he'll play Opening Day.

"I'm very optimistic about where I'm at and also where the team is at," Burrow told Collinsworth. "Rehab is going very, very well and lifting is going very, very well. I'm in great shape. Legs feel good, knee feels good. There's still a long way to go, but I'm expecting to be there on the first snap of 2021.

"I'm expecting to play game one. I expect to take part in practice. I'm feeling really good. I'm ahead of schedule."

In his first interview in three months, Burrow revealed he's running and lifting normally.