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Andy Dalton watches Wednesday’s practice

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Andy Dalton got the cast off his injured right thumb this week, but the long layoff and need to rebuild strength in his throwing hand meant the Bengals were preparing AJ McCarron to start on Saturday night.

As the week progresses, there’s nothing to suggest that they need to deviate from that plan in the slightest. Dalton was an observer only at Wednesday’s practice and Geoff Hobson of the team’s website writes that “the closest he came to wearing a helmet came when carrying the one that belongs to rookie defensive lineman Marcus Hardison.”

Coach Marvin Lewis said Tuesday that it was possible that Dalton could dress for the game against the Steelers as a backup, although that seems like a long shot if he’s not dressing for practice during the week. Keith Wenning will likely be the No. 2 behind McCarron and the Bengals will surely be hoping that Wenning’s first snaps in a meaningful NFL game wait for some point in the future.

Hobson reports that tight end Ryan Hewitt and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson also missed practice on Wednesday.

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25 Responses to “Andy Dalton watches Wednesday’s practice”
  1. billsrule2015 says: Jan 6, 2016 1:34 PM

    Big Red will be watching from his house come Monday when the Bengals once again get bumped in the 1st round. Go Steelers and thanks for the free food!

  2. joetoronto says: Jan 6, 2016 1:35 PM

    Bengals are as good as one and done. Dalton will not be up to par even if he does play and they have always struggled with Pitt. 5 years, 5 one and dones.

  3. mendenhallfumblemachine says: Jan 6, 2016 1:36 PM

    Too much is being made of Daltons status. It’s clear he’s not ready to go and even his coach has hinted as much, but it doesn’t really hurt the bengals all that much. Pretty much any qb they’ve faced has torched that awful Steelers secondary, and I can honestly say the fear factor just is not there for me as a Steeler fan of Andy, does not come up big. I honestly expect about them to get very close to what they normally would offensively led by the two AJs, and in all honestly I think it comes down to how much this cinci defense can limit The explosive plays.

    24-17 steelers.

    I hope.

  4. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Jan 6, 2016 1:44 PM

    I’m feeling better about this game every day. All the experts are picking the Steelers… Bengals are a home underdog, starting a backup QB, we’ve got a great D, solid O-line, nothing to lose…. McCarron is as cool as can be. The key to the game is if Cincy can run the ball. Jeremy Hill needs to protect the ball and run downhill with decisiveness and aggression. If he does Cincy will win. Go get it fellas!!!

  5. nfloracle says: Jan 6, 2016 1:48 PM

    I just wonder if McCarron’s play will equal the size of his ego and confidence. He reminds me of a young Tom Brady in that regard, but his lack of NFL experience may be the biggest problem.

    I’m not a Bengals fan but I feel bad for Andy Dalton because I really wanted to see him have a chance to get the one and done monkey off his back.

  6. ravens2016 says: Jan 6, 2016 1:51 PM

    One and done Steelers will get on a ride to the bowl

  7. mrkbuilders says: Jan 6, 2016 1:52 PM

    Does anyone else think it’s funny of the 4 slots to give a WC game, the Bengals are playing in the only primetime slot of the weekend?

    We all know the ‘Red Rifle’ plays his best under the brightest lights…

  8. vottorific says: Jan 6, 2016 1:53 PM

    All these steeler predictions. We will find out Sat night. Not till then. GO BENGALS.

  9. hallaudermilsmithsteen says: Jan 6, 2016 1:56 PM

    Steelers are a dying dog – this game won’t be close. Ben hasn’t been the same since putting on 50 pounds and losing to Tebow. Done!

  10. dickroy says: Jan 6, 2016 2:10 PM

    I’m a Steelers fan and don’t like the Bengals. But all this talk of one and done is getting ahead of ourselves. The game still had to be played. Its also suppose to rain Saturday night and without a running game, it means passing a lot in the rain. I very much want the Steelers to win this game. You can bet that the Bengals want it just as much!

  11. sam887 says: Jan 6, 2016 2:15 PM

    This game could definitely go either way. They split this year, and the second game the Steelers won by 13, but 7 of those were a gift-wrapped pic-6 from a rookie QB who had never played an NFL snap. McCarron has made surprising progress, but not so much that you feel immediately confident that he can take on a two-time Super Bowl winner in Big Ben. Still, Ben threw a lot of INTs this year. So, anything can happen.

    The only result I would be surprised to see is a Bengals blowout – where they drop like 45 on the Steelers. I think it will be close, but if a rout happens, I think it’s the Steelers.

    That said, Who Dey. Go get it.

  12. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 6, 2016 2:18 PM

    Since 2011…

    Andy Dalton has won more AFC North Championships than ben roethlisberger.

  13. nhpats says: Jan 6, 2016 2:22 PM

    Peyton Manning is hoping Dalton gets the start as he is the only active player with a legitimate chance of surpassing Manning’s dubious 1-and-done record.

  14. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Jan 6, 2016 2:29 PM

    @dickroy – I love when I can hit thumbs up on an opposing fan’s comment. Way to keep it classy, Go Bengals!

  15. td40 says: Jan 6, 2016 2:44 PM

    As prophecy dictates, the Bengals have three days left in their season.

  16. bengalguy says: Jan 6, 2016 2:53 PM

    The one thing no one is talking about is the Steelers will be EXTREMELY ONE DIMENSIONAL! Deangelo Williams is not playing!!!!! It’s kind of a big deal!!! Pittsburgh will have zero threat of a running game & Cincy will sit in a zone all day.
    As much as I hate Ben & the Steelers, offensively….when all the pieces ate in place….they are dangerous. But with no running game or even THREAT of a running game. It’s going to be extremely hard for Pittsburgh to sustain drives. Their Defense is going to have to play lights out & they’re gonna need to hit on 6 or 7 big chunk plays to stay with a healthy (except for Dalton) Cincinnati team
    I know & understand the Bengals struggles in the post-season, but this is now an extremely vulnerable Pittsburgh team that is not %100 & is on the road against a division opponent.

  17. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 6, 2016 3:07 PM

    Dalton was being the eyes and ears of Hue Jackson, who was too busy thinking about his next job to worry about the last 60 minutes of this one.

  18. mysterytonite says: Jan 6, 2016 3:07 PM

    Check this out:

    Bengals are 0-12 when they are out gained on the ground, 5-0 when outrush I g their opponent and 0-1 when tied with their opponent rushing I a game (2009 vs jets 171 yes each).

    But hey it’s cool, keep underrating the run game Steelers fans.

  19. chasezdad16 says: Jan 6, 2016 3:15 PM

    nfloracle says:
    Jan 6, 2016 1:48 PM

    I just wonder if McCarron’s play will equal the size of his ego and confidence. He reminds me of a young Tom Brady in that regard, but his lack of NFL experience may be the biggest problem.

    I’m not a Bengals fan but I feel bad for Andy Dalton because I really wanted to see him have a chance to get the one and done monkey off his back.
    If all goes well Saturday night, He’ll have his chance in Foxboro next week! Who Dey!

  20. colt13 says: Jan 6, 2016 3:15 PM

    I know the Bengals want McCarron to stay healthy and not use Wenning. But as good as Willie Snead looked for the Saints, Wenning was the guy who got him the ball in college.

  21. steelcurtainn says: Jan 6, 2016 4:10 PM

    I expect the Big Ben and the offense to play well after two subpar games. The key on defense as always is to get pressure on McCarron. Pressure equals mistakes.

  22. sixlombardisinyourface says: Jan 6, 2016 4:48 PM

    Playoff games turn the pressure up. How many playoff games has McCarron played in ? This game is a playoff game with the added spotlight of prime time. McCarron has played well so far, but the prime time playoff pressure cooker will tell the tale. But as usual Tomlin will start Antwon Blake who will get burned repeatedly from start to finish, taking some of the pressure off McCarron.

    Without DeAngelo Williams and Roosevelt Nix, Pittsburgh has no ground game except for inexperienced unproven no names who will pee their pants in a prime time playoff game. Same thing that happened last year vs Baltimore, Ben had no where to turn and Tomlin and Haley were clueless in the game plan and figuring out any adjustments and just took beating after beating. The Bengals will shut down the pass game, easily accomplished with skillet hands Martavis Bryant dropping everything and blitz like mad (those inexperienced running backs will get steam rolled by the blitz). Lights Out.

  23. dondon2016 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:20 PM

    I am a Bengals fan but i all ways Question They Decisions Like Why Isn’t rex burkhead in at slot he been there for 4 years and comes in a couple plays they got talent on the side line and dont. Use it

  24. Bojangles says: Jan 6, 2016 6:36 PM

    Cincy beats Pittsburgh with McCarron. Dalton plays the next game and plays like he normally does in the playoffs. Cincy loses. Everyone outside of Cincy lols.

  25. coltcountrysteelerfan says: Jan 6, 2016 11:37 PM

    Rusty, I know you’re proud of those 2 division titles, afterall that’s pretty much the only thing in Cincy’s trophy case. In all honesty, 2 division titles to 1 and still the same amount of playoff wins is not that impressive. 2-3 of those years the Steelers made a massive youth movement on defense and are coming out of the rebuild. Bengals have consistently been rebuilding since 1990 and still have nothing to show for it but a handful of division titles.

    I feel the Steelers can win this one, but it’s not a shoe in due to the bad Pittsburgh secondary and the unknown status of Williams.

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