Because rookie quarterback A.J. McCarron never officially practiced during training camp or the preseason, the Cincinnati Bengals allowed to place him on the team's Non-Football Injury list -- similar to PUP, in that McCarron won't join the 53-man roster until week seven at the earliest, or not at all this year. It keeps him off waivers for now and gives the team a roster exemption.
However, he feels great. While attending Alabama's season opener on Saturday against West Virginia, McCarron told TideSports.com that his shoulder feels "great".
"I feel good. I've got to be on there for six weeks, then (the Bengals) can file for an extension all the way until Week 15 so they're going to just play the numbers game that way," McCarron said via TideSports.com. "But (the shoulder) feels great though."
Not that the Bengals are being dishonest (more like using a resource at their disposal), but we suspect Cincinnati's intention with McCarron is two-fold... 1) approach his rehabilitation conservatively (there's two quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart, so there's no rush) and 2) prevent any preseason tape distribution (aka, playing well and forcing Cincinnati to use a roster spot on a third-string quarterback).
Before any extension is filed (honestly, that's the first I've heard of that), the Bengals will have a three-week window after week six to decide McCarron's rookie season. They can place him on the active 53-man roster, waive him or leave him on the season-ending PUP list.