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Andy Dalton's cast was removed, status for Saturday still unknown

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Andy Dalton's cast has been removed!

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Less than one month after fracturing his thumb while marching down the field for the first offensive drive against the Steelers in Week 14, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has had the cast on his hand removed, according to ESPN's Bob Holtzman.

Whether Dalton plays on Saturday when the Steelers once again come to Paul Brown Stadium has yet to be determined, though conservative estimates find it hard to imagine him playing less than one week after his cast was removed.

The Bengals practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week to prepare for their Saturday matchup in Wild Card weekend. Dalton's status between now and then will be closely monitored as the team sees how his hand responds to picking up, gripping and throwing a football.

For now, the Bengals are preparing for AJ McCarron to start on Saturday night.