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An invisible fog was lifted in Cincinnati on Wednesday, when Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow returned to practice for the first time since sustaining a right calf strain on July 27. 

How did Burrow look? Like the quarterback who led Cincinnati to the last two AFC North division titles. 

Burrow, who practiced without a calf sleeve, looked sharp as he participated in the Bengals' first specific practice in preparation for their Week 1 matchup with the Browns. Receiver Tee Higgins said that Burrow's best throw of the day was "a dime" to rookie wideout Charlie Jones

"It was a deep ball to the left, just a go ball," Jones said of the play, via Pro Football Network. "Right on the money. Didn't even have to adjust to it." 

Burrow's return was a big boost for a Bengals team that has high expectations this season. Cincinnati's win total has been set at 11.5, according to Caesars Sportbook, and it currently has the fifth-highest odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, behind the defending champion Chiefs, defending NFC champion Eagles, 49ers and Bills, who were defeated by the Bengals in the divisional round of the playoffs last January. 

Cincinnati was a play or two away from winning its first title two years ago in Super Bow LVI. Last year, the Bengals again came up just short, but this time it was against the Chiefs in an AFC Championship game rematch. In both games, the Bengals' pass protection and pass defense were among the reasons why Cincinnati came up short. 

They addressed both areas this offseason, first when they signed Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a long-term deal. Cincinnati then spent several draft picks on its secondary that included former Michigan cornerback DJ Turner II in the second round and former Alabama safety Jordan Battle in the third round. 

Zac Taylor recently said that this is Cincinnati's deepest team during his five seasons as the team's coach. While the Bengals are talented, the team will only go as far as their quarterback, who still has some business to take care of before Week 1 in the form of a contract extension. 

As far as that is concerned, Burrow and the Bengals have continued to not discuss a deal until one is in place. 

"We'll see," Taylor said of Burrow's contract on Wednesday, via ESPN