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Bengals QB AJ McCarron excited to be practicing

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron, who the Bengals drafted in the fifth-round of the 2014 NFL draft, is excited to be practicing with the team.

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

He's back.

Well, not really. He wasn't really ever here to constitute a dramatic Terminator-like reference.

Now that he's been cleared to practice, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron has been throwing the football with shoulder pads during practice. Not even when he was dealing with a shoulder ailment during training camp, the preseason, had McCarron actually practiced with the team.

Now he is. And he's excited about it.

"I've been playing football since the age of three," said McCarron via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I've never had to sit out for a long period of time so that definitely was hard, but I was worrying about the things I could control each day working with Nick (Cosgray, the team's director of rehabilitation) trying to get better and sharpening my skills. When I get my shot make it happen."

McCarron was cleared to practice on Nov. 18. Per league rules, the team has 21 days before they're forced into a decision... promote him to the 53-man roster, waive him or place him on season-ending IR. By our count, the date is Dec. 8, 2014 -- a day after the Bengals return to Cincinnati for a home game against the Steelers.

During his first practice on Wednesday, Bengals beat writer Richard Skinner noted that he overthrew receivers "badly three times."

It's believed that the team will place him on a season-ending injury list prior to the 21-day window.