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Andy Dalton gets cast off, Bengals prepping McCarron to start

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals walks on the sidelines during their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 20, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s recovery from a fractured right thumb took a step forward on Monday.

Bob Holtzman of ESPN reports that Dalton had the cast protecting the injury removed after visiting with doctors, but that doesn’t clear him to return to the lineup against the Steelers on Saturday night. Dalton will now have to see how well he can grip and throw the ball, which leaves coach Marvin Lewis prepping AJ McCarron to make another start this weekend.

“We have to go into the week, obviously, regardless of Andy’s status, right now we’re going to into at least the early part of the week preparing with AJ,” Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s important for the football team.”

If the Bengals are going to keep the door open for Dalton to start this weekend, they will likely go deep into the week before making any pronouncement about who will be in the lineup. Based on the reports out of Cincinnati over the last couple of weeks, that pronouncement will likely be that McCarron will start.

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76 Responses to “Andy Dalton gets cast off, Bengals prepping McCarron to start”
  1. jillontario says: Jan 5, 2016 10:16 AM

    Show us what you’re made of Bama Boy! Who dey!

  2. eazeback says: Jan 5, 2016 10:16 AM

    mccaron has played surprisingly well

  3. natijim235 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:21 AM

    Start McCarron he has been playing good enough to win and Dalton will not be ready right away. Besides been there done that with Andy in the playoffs let’s see what AJ can do.

  4. natijim235 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:27 AM

    start McCarron if he isn’t playing well or offense not movving the ball bring in Dalton and maybe light a spark like denver did with Manning in the second half

  5. geewhiz23 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:28 AM

    So basically they’re going to have to be a bit more creative in planning to lose their first playoff game this year

  6. realdealsteel says: Jan 5, 2016 10:29 AM

    McCarron will be exposed. Playoff football is a whole different animal then regular season football.

    Anybody who’s watched football long enough knows that.

  7. t8ertot says: Jan 5, 2016 10:32 AM

    I have faith that regardless of the QB, Bengals can score on that Swiss cheese defense Pittsburgh has. Pacman didn’t play last time. AB hasn’t had a good game against Cincy this year. Let’s hope the cheap shot artists don’t take out Eifert this time.

  8. tommykramer9 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:32 AM

    No Dalton No victory, its that simple

  9. vottorific says: Jan 5, 2016 10:36 AM

    Looking forward to seeing whoever walks out there for Bengals first offensive snap Sat night at QB. Many Bengals fans want to see what AJ can do. We already know what Dalton can do.

  10. nhpats says: Jan 5, 2016 10:36 AM

    Why would the Bengals or their fans want to start Dalton? Seriously, he has never one a playoff game…and never will.

  11. floratiotime says: Jan 5, 2016 10:37 AM

    Bengals also prepping for their annual one-and-done.

  12. bomatdaman says: Jan 5, 2016 10:40 AM

    Won’t matter who is QB for Cin, Big Beg will be ready to keep Cincinnati’s winless playoff streak intact.

  13. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Jan 5, 2016 10:40 AM

    I’m rooting for the Bengals to win, no matter who they have to play. That said, if McCarron leads the team to a playoff win over the Steelers, the following weeks and the off season could be very interesting.

  14. openfieldtackle says: Jan 5, 2016 10:41 AM

    Mallet beat the Steelers. AJ will throw for 300 against the Steelers DB’s. Pittsburgh wins a shoutout 30-27.

  15. headwoundharry says: Jan 5, 2016 10:41 AM

    Doesn’t look good for the RED BB!

  16. rcosborne59 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:41 AM

    A big game means no matter who qb’s the Bungles that it will be a loss. Just look at the history.

  17. firecracker87 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:44 AM

    It’s the playoffs, it’s primetime, and the Steelers are in town….”There is NO WAY this is not going to trial.”

  18. flash1287 says: Jan 5, 2016 10:49 AM

    It doesn’t matter who starts at QB, the Steelers will win.

    Who DEY? A team that nobody fears in the playoffs!

  19. wjmoffatt says: Jan 5, 2016 10:49 AM

    AJ is a proven winner in big moments. Bengals should’ve been playing him in the playoffs already.

    Dalton playoff career has been by far the worse out of anyone I’ve seen play four games! He has a 0-4 record with an incredible 1 touchdown pass.

  20. awdlmd says: Jan 5, 2016 10:55 AM

    Well played with the double meaning in the headline.

  21. waynesborokennyg says: Jan 5, 2016 10:59 AM

    bomatdaman says:
    Jan 5, 2016 10:40 AM
    Won’t matter who is QB for Cin, Big Beg will be ready to keep Cincinnati’s winless playoff streak intact.

    —————————————————

    Lol…
    Big Ben hasn’t won a playoff game since Before Dalton entered the league, let alone been there as many times. I’m betting on that streak to continue.

  22. myspaceyourface says: Jan 5, 2016 11:03 AM

    This game is a bit of toss up for me. . .

    The Steelers pass D is pretty bad and I think the Bungles have their best overall team in about 20 years. This game may come down to timely turnovers and penalties.

    I think I’ll lean Pitt because they do have a more talented and experienced QB.

  23. jillontario says: Jan 5, 2016 11:06 AM

    Flash! That was soooo original! Are you my bff JoeToronto in disguise?

    What happened last year doesn’t matter. Let’s talk next Sunday after the boys in orange embarrass the steelers worse than Tebow did.

  24. buckeyeguy5 says: Jan 5, 2016 11:08 AM

    Dalton hasn’t played in almost a month. Rusty. Can’t get it done in the playoffs anyway. Give the ball to AJ and ATTACK like they did in the 1st half against Denver and Cincinnati will be difficult to defeat. WHO DEY!!!!

  25. pats1212 says: Jan 5, 2016 11:08 AM

    Steelers should be hoping for Andy Dalton. He’ll be coming back likely not 100% and out of rhythm with the team. Plus, Dalton is 0-4 in the playoffs (1 TD, 6 INTs) and is 3-7 vs. the Steelers (76 QB rating).

  26. kevinlawrencecantor says: Jan 5, 2016 11:10 AM

    Andy Dalton is 0-5 in January. 0-4 in the playoffs, plus a loss to the Ravens on 1/1/12.

    AJ McCarron is 3-1 in January. 2 National Titles, one bowl loss, and one Week 17 win over a division rival Ravens.

    It’s obvious who you start in a playoff game.

  27. 6ball says: Jan 5, 2016 11:24 AM

    .
    I don’t have a dog in this fight, however both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are playoff caliber teams who have the potential to stink out any stadium on any given day . The Steelers are especially erratic. People who bet on them all season are most assuredly broke.
    .

  28. whodeytn says: Jan 5, 2016 11:26 AM

    Why would the Bengals or their fans want to start Dalton? Seriously, he has never one a playoff game…and never will.
    ==========
    Maybe because he was playing at an MVP level until he got injured? Maybe because he was leading the entire NFL in quarterback rating and had his team poised for the #1 overall seed?

    Just a guess.

  29. whodeytn says: Jan 5, 2016 11:27 AM

    Andy Dalton is 0-5 in January. 0-4 in the playoffs, plus a loss to the Ravens on 1/1/12.

    AJ McCarron is 3-1 in January. 2 National Titles, one bowl loss, and one Week 17 win over a division rival Ravens.

    It’s obvious who you start in a playoff game.
    ==============

    Wait, so we’re counting college games now? Good grief.

  30. inbillwetrust says: Jan 5, 2016 11:28 AM

    even if they win this week they are going to lose to the BIG BAD PATRIOTS the week after

  31. stipez says: Jan 5, 2016 11:28 AM

    1/1/12 is not January?

  32. coltzfan166 says: Jan 5, 2016 11:34 AM

    Just start McCarron. Cause if they lose, they don’t have to hear all the immense criticism of Andy Dalton (which wouldn’t be fair considering he’s hurt). But if they win, they may have a QB of the future and could get a 1st rounder for Dalton

  33. steelcurtainn says: Jan 5, 2016 11:36 AM

    The Steelers win 27-17. Doesn’t matter whose at qb for the bungles.

  34. 6superbowls says: Jan 5, 2016 11:42 AM

    Let’s hope the cheap shot artists don’t take out Eifert this time.
    —————————
    Don’t you mean Cheap Shot artist Burfict?? Take both sets of gloves off. You’ll need them to count Burfict’s knee-shots.

  35. cincyred says: Jan 5, 2016 11:44 AM

    tommykramer9 says:
    Jan 5, 2016 10:32 AM
    No Dalton No victory, its that simple
    _____________________

    I believe you have it backwards.

  36. bengalsfan2079 says: Jan 5, 2016 11:44 AM

    McCarron has to be the guy this week there is no way Dalton is 100% right now. McCarron is more limited with the offense but rushing someone back from injury is a recipe for disaster. AJ has done well at taking care of the football. For someone as young as he is it’s very impressive how well he takes care of it. We’ll see I’m still nervous as heck for this game.

  37. Knute's Knuggets says: Jan 5, 2016 11:49 AM

    rcosborne59 says: A big game means no matter who qb’s the Bungles that it will be a loss. Just look at the history.
    ==============
    Just look at history . . . said the same thing about winning in Vietnam, and look how that turned out.

  38. patsbrat says: Jan 5, 2016 11:49 AM

    Great match up to kick off the playoffs. Division rivals that know each other well. Should be an intense game.

  39. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Jan 5, 2016 11:51 AM

    inbillwetrust says:
    Jan 5, 2016 11:28 AM

    even if they win this week they are going to lose to the BIG BAD PATRIOTS the week after

    —–

    They just got manhandled by the Dolphins….

  40. chasezdad16 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:00 PM

    It all depends on how Dalton looks after practice this week, if he indeed practices. I think this might end up being a Osweiler/Manning type situation where Dalton plays if the game is getting too far from McCarron. To me the underlying key to the game nobody is talking about is McCarron will have Green, Jones, Sanu, Eifert, Hill, And Bennard all on the field together for the first time EVER in the playoffs.

    For bengals fans like me this is it, If they can pull past Pittsburgh and get Dalton back…They can make a big run

  41. cincy05 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:05 PM

    Say what you want about Dalton’s playoff record and stats but he can’t take all of the blame. AJ Green has been terrible as well in big games. Last year his #1 WR was a RB #2 was a backup TE and #3 was a backup RB . More than 1 of Dalton’s INT’s in the playoffs were a catch-able ball that Green took his eye off of. The past 4 years have been bad luck for this team in the playoffs, this year will be a different story. As for this weekends game it really doesn’t matter who the QB is for the Bengals. Ryan Mallett beat them just 2 weeks ago. Assuming the don’t knockout our #1 receiving target with a another head shot the Bengals will win easily. Looking for a big defensive play or 2 from the Bengals, Roethlisberger will be getting to know Atkins and Dunlap very well.

  42. granadafan says: Jan 5, 2016 12:08 PM

    LOL at those who think that college victories translate to NFL playoff victories. When you’re a game manager surrounded by NFL talent coached by one of the best college coaches in history, your job is a wee bit easier. Otherwise, Tebow, Leinart, Jason White, Manziel, Ty Detmer, Bradford, Charlie Ward, Geno Torretta, Weinke, etc would be NFL “elite” QBs. Turns out they were all busts.

  43. rutchaser says: Jan 5, 2016 12:11 PM

    With the year Dalton was having before his injury, it will be a shame if he doesn’t get a chance to get his first playoff victory. As for McCarron, he has shown the stage isn’t too big for him so we’ll see what happens.

    Bengals fan

  44. winner9090 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:13 PM

    Dalton is so far lessthan 5% chances of at primetime or postseason games, so better go with McCarron.

  45. winner9090 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:15 PM

    Dalton has less than 5% chances of winning a primetime or postseason game, so better go with McCarron.

  46. cincyalldaway says: Jan 5, 2016 12:32 PM

    steelcurtainn says:
    Jan 5, 2016 11:36 AM

    The Steelers win 27-17. Doesn’t matter whose at qb for the bungles.
    =====================================
    Yeah…and how’d that work out for ya the first time moron? that’s what i thought! McCarron came in in the last game without any reps with the first string and still came within 2 scores of beating your posers. He’s had plenty of time to study your team and practice with these guys AND he did what Ben and the rest of those losers couldn’t do and that was beat Ryan Freakin Mallet! Bwaahhhhaaahhhhahhaaaa! See ya Sunday loser.

  47. nhpats says: Jan 5, 2016 12:33 PM

    AJ is the future of the team so the Bengals might as well roll with him. If the Bengals are smart, they will unload Dalton to another team during the offseason.

  48. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:37 PM

    Watch McCarron win the wild card game and then when Dalton is inserted for the divisional round they lose. That would be hilarious.

  49. cincyalldaway says: Jan 5, 2016 12:38 PM

    I love how all of these Squealers fans are beating their chests and taking this team so lightly! There were alot of emotions running high in that last game, not to mention the Bengals with out a few of their top playmakers, and losing their starting QB and they still gave you a decent game with McCarron taking no reps with the starters. And lets face it, the Ravens were a 3 win team this year and still swept your sorry azzes. Different ballgame this time around girls! And if the past playoff appearances are all you have to go on with the way this team has performed this year…..well Ha Ha…good luck with that! Whats going to make this victory even sweeter is the fact that it will send your posers home for the year. Enjoy!

  50. cincyfan0890 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:41 PM

    I hope Dalton plays and wins and shuts all you people up.
    He’s was having the best year of his career this year, primetime included minus the Houston game.
    Arizona was good, beat the Browns in a TNF game.

    He is better than McCarron, and McCarron is not the “future” for the Bengals. He might be trade bait though.

  51. steelersnowand4ever says: Jan 5, 2016 12:46 PM

    Where are at Tebow boy?? It’s about time for the annual Tebowed out crap.

  52. stillers213 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:51 PM

    It’s funny to see so many people (Cincy fans included) wanting to jettison their red rocket QB for a rookie with a couple of games under his belt. What a bunch of tools.

  53. thermanmerman99 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:52 PM

    People bringing up mccarrons college stats hahaha tebow had a better college career so why isn’t he tearing up the league if you use that logic.

  54. stoneydog1000 says: Jan 5, 2016 12:56 PM

    “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself” and that’s what Dalton has- fear itself.

  55. icanspeel says: Jan 5, 2016 1:14 PM

    This has Mccarron winning Cincy’s 1st playoff game in forever written all over it… Then Dalton coming back next week and losing and talk of how he can never win a playoff game.

  56. jjackwagon says: Jan 5, 2016 1:22 PM

    If AJ wins a playoff game, Dalton may very well get cast off.

  57. reapshavoc says: Jan 5, 2016 1:34 PM

    I still think it’s daltons team but people seem to forget that mccarron has done nothing but won championships. The man knows how to win and wins well. Done doubt him.
    Go Vikings!!!!!

  58. coltcountrysteelerfan says: Jan 5, 2016 2:20 PM

    T8ertot, the defense may be Swiss cheese, but they don’t give up a lot of points. They averaged under 20 points a game, the Bengals gave up on average 2.5 less per game. Something has to give, will it be the 20+ playoff win drought or the 5 year playoff drought?

  59. indytom87 says: Jan 5, 2016 2:41 PM

    McCarron starting = Katherine Webb camera shots of her in the stands.

    Sounds good to me.

  60. sbchampsagain says: Jan 5, 2016 2:45 PM

    Steelers lose to the Bengals?
    That would be awesome. And hilarious!

    Just hard to imagine Cincy EVER winning a playoff game.

  61. headwoundharry says: Jan 5, 2016 2:45 PM

    Bengals know what they have in McCarron. Dalton is getting shopped as we speak.

  62. laxer37 says: Jan 5, 2016 2:46 PM

    Dalton began his season being booed by Cincinnati fans, does he really want to risk ending his season the same way?

  63. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Jan 5, 2016 2:57 PM

    granadafan says:
    Jan 5, 2016 12:08 PM

    LOL at those who think that college victories translate to NFL playoff victories. When you’re a game manager surrounded by NFL talent coached by one of the best college coaches in history, your job is a wee bit easier. Otherwise, Tebow, Leinart, Jason White, Manziel, Ty Detmer, Bradford, Charlie Ward, Geno Torretta, Weinke, etc would be NFL “elite” QBs. Turns out they were all busts.

    —————-

    Charlie Ward was never on an NFL roster, how can he be a bust?

  64. db423 says: Jan 5, 2016 3:12 PM

    The Bengals QB is not going to decide the game. McCarron put up 20 on the Steelers after being thrown to the wolves (baptism through fire) and has improved every game since. Andy’s work the first 12+ games speaks for itself. But the presence of Adam Jones, Tyler Eifert and George Iloka will definitely help. And Tez not getting silly penalties will definitely help. He was very professional against the Ravens last Sunday and actually had his best game of the year. I look for him to improve on Saturday considering the competition.

    The game is very much in hand for the Bengals. Great Offensive and Defensive lines, many weapons on Offense, Great Defensive Secondary. McCarron has not thrown an interception since that game and Rothisberger has thrown two interceptions per game. Meanwhile the Bengals are leading the NFL in interceptions or are close to it.

    I’m looking for a hard fought game. Nothing is guaranteed as any intelligent commentator will acknowledge but I am going with the Bengals to win 24-17.

    I just wonder how the Steelers can cover Green, Jones, Sanu, Eifert and still protect against Hill/Bernard (not that the running game has been a strong point) no matter who is under center.

  65. tiger1again says: Jan 5, 2016 3:12 PM

    Start AJ and if he can’t do the job bring in Andy to finish off the Steelers.

  66. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 5, 2016 3:26 PM

    Ben would play through that injury. Bengals are soft.

  67. ajigel says: Jan 5, 2016 3:34 PM

    LOL at those who think that college victories translate to NFL playoff victories. When you’re a game manager surrounded by NFL talent coached by one of the best college coaches in history, your job is a wee bit easier. Otherwise, Tebow, Leinart, Jason White, Manziel, Ty Detmer, Bradford, Charlie Ward, Geno Torretta, Weinke, etc would be NFL “elite” QBs. Turns out they were all busts.
    ___
    Tebow certainly wasn’t elite, but he did beat the Steelers in the playoffs and they haven’t won since. Maybe McCarron can keep up the streak

  68. hockeyfan9170 says: Jan 5, 2016 4:14 PM

    Over the last 8 weeks the Bengals played four teams in the playoffs and went 0-4. They lost to the Steelers, Texans, Broncos and Cardinals. They don’t win big games.

    The Steelers have a history of losing to bad teams. Don’t let that get your hopes up Bengals fans.

  69. sam887 says: Jan 5, 2016 4:19 PM

    There is no way he plays this week. Even if the bone has healed, it will take some time to regain enough strength in the hand to a) throw a ball b) withstand further contact that is bound to happen in an NFL game.

    Regardless of Dalton’s status, this is going to be an absolute dogfight. These teams Hate each other (capital H intended). The Steelers clearly have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and probably the best QB-WR combo in Big Ben to AB. But the Bengals’ D gave up the fewest points in franchise history, and is typically lights out at home (I believe they were missing Adam Jones, Iloka, and others last game on D).

    I think this game with come down to the last minute in the 4th Quarter. Even if one team is down by a couple scores, I think this will be a tight game at the end.

  70. icebowler says: Jan 5, 2016 4:23 PM

    This is all a bluff. Dalton’s done for the year. If he’d had surgery, and had a pin in his thumb maybe, but he didn’t. As it is, that thumb will re-brake just by taking a snap from center for the next couple of months.

  71. ninkanpoopblog says: Jan 5, 2016 4:26 PM

    Listen all you dofuss fans begging for your second string qb.so if he loses you can say we would’ve won if Andy played I’m hoping Dalton does not play he is your best hope by far mark my words if mccaron plays he will stink it up

  72. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 5, 2016 4:57 PM

    db423 says:
    Jan 5, 2016 3:12 PM
    The Bengals QB is not going to decide the game. McCarron put up 20 on the Steelers after being thrown to the wolves (baptism through fire) and has improved every game since.
    ——————————————

    Yeah he really came up big in the all-important Denver game, didn’t he?

  73. db423 says: Jan 5, 2016 6:16 PM

    Ampatshipocrit: He didn’t make a mistake until the second possession of OT against the best Defense in the NFL . The same can’t be said for Ben against the Ravens. McCarron did fine in that game. The Steelers defense is a completely different story. They aren’t no. 1.

  74. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Jan 5, 2016 6:31 PM

    Steelers 42
    Gals 12

  75. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Jan 5, 2016 6:33 PM

    If you are lucky you get a few field goals

  76. db423 says: Jan 5, 2016 6:35 PM

    Hey armpithypocrite, do you know how many games AJ won? Enough to put the Bengals two games ahead of the Steelers in the win column.

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