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Bengals to promote Keith Wenning from practice squad to 53-man roster in response to Andy Dalton injury

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The Bengals have found their temporary backup behind AJ McCarron while Andy Dalton is sidelined with a thumb injury.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have a new backup quarterback, though it comes from within as Keith Wenning is being called up from the practice squad, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

This move makes sense as Wenning has been with the Bengals since June, so he'll know the offense better than any free agent quarterback to backup AJ McCarron on Sunday. McCarron will be making his first NFL start in place of the injured Andy Dalton, and Wenning will likely be a gameday active for the first time in his career.

Wenning was originally drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with the 194th pick in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was signed to the Ravens' practice squad last year after failing to make the 53-man roster. He was then signed to their 90-man offseason roster before being cut in May. He eventually signed with the Atlanta Falcons, who cut him in June before Cincinnati signed him.

A four-year starter in college, Wenning was a two-time captain who threw for 4,148 yards with 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions as a senior. Per the Ball State website, Wenning set school records in pass completions (1,035), attempts (1,642), passing yards (11,402) and touchdowns (92). He finished his career with a 27-20 mark in 47 starts.

Wenning's 4,148 passing yards in 2013 was the third-highest mark in a single season in Mid-American Conference history. The two guys ahead of him are Miami's Ben Roethlisberger (4,486 in 2003) and Marshall's Byron Leftwich (4,268 in 2002).

While Wenning will be the backup behind McCarron this week, that doesn't rule out the Bengals signing another quarterback. Wenning may be the most viable option this Sunday if McCarron were to go down, but he's not someone you want to start if McCarron were to go down with an injury. Having another veteran on the roster may be something Cincinnati looks to do depending on how long they expect Dalton to be out.

Then again, maybe settling for Wenning behind McCarron signals that the team really believes Dalton will return this season and they just need to get through the next few weeks without him. Whatever happens, let's hope we don't have to see Wenning tossing passes in live game action.

In order to make room for Wenning on the 53-man roster, linebacker/defensive end Chris Carter was waived earlier on Tuesday.