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.