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Bengals News (11/28): Players giving back

Bengals players are giving back this Thanksgiving.

Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

For The Record, Dalton Commands Respect Past And Present
It took only the time between two mere full moons for Andy Dalton to regain some of the popularity he originally won during his first five seasons in the NFL he led the Bengals to the playoffs in each year. But even when Dalton got benched 30 days ago, one of his biggest fans sent a text letting him know he still was.

Zac Taylor and Andy Dalton preview the Week 13 matchup as the Bengals host the New York Jets
“It depends on how long the injury has been and what the position is. He hasn’t practiced at all, really. It’s going on a couple months now, so you’d like him to get a couple practices under his belt just for his confidence and Andy’s (quarterback Andy Dalton) confidence. Any great player still needs reps to be able to throw the ball to each other. We’ll just take it day-to-day right now.”

The Bengals hold out hope for a return of WR A.J. Green this season.
While the 25 mile-per-hour wind pistol-whipped Paul Brown Stadium during Wednesday’s practice, A.J. Green took his rehab indoors on a day his head coach kept his season alive. As befitting a badly-smashed ankle with torn ligaments, Zac Taylor has had few answers during this 122-day siege in in the wake of Green’s injury, but he said before practice that season-ending injured reserve is not one of them even though the Bengals are winless.

Andy Dalton's goal is to win, not protect Bengals' 2020 draft position
Dalton was re-inserted into the starting lineup after he was benched for three games in favor of rookie Ryan Finley, who struggled in the team's 16-10 loss to the Steelers in Week 12. Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Dalton gives the opportunity the best chance to win a game.

Jets determined not to fall into hapless Bengals' trap
After hitting rock bottom by giving the Dolphins their first win of the year in Week 9, the Jets travel to face the 0-11 Bengals on Sunday, trying to keep their newfound winning streak alive instead of snapping another team’s skid.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton thankful to earn starting job back: 'I knew God has a plan for me'
“I didn't know why it was happening, but I knew God has a plan for me,” Dalton said Wednesday in his first interview since earning his job back. “He has a plan for my family and my life, and I had to trust and believe in that. This is just part of my story and part of something I'm going to be able to relate to people on a different level now than I probably could have before. Initially it was tough, but I wasn't going to let the circumstance really get to me.

Bengals players serve Thanksgiving dinner to Cincinnati's homeless
"For me, going home and getting involved in the community, being apart of the community, trying to be a difference maker -- that's what it's about," Dunlap said.

Bengals Notes: Dalton admits he was bitter about benching; Green doesn't practice
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor announced on Monday that he is going back to Dalton as his starting quarterback for this Sunday's game against the New York Jets (1 p.m. in Paul Brown Stadium and WKRC-TV, Local 12 will televise) after rookie Ryan Finley struggled in his three starts.

Around the league

Lions will start rookie David Blough at QB vs. Bears
This will mark the second time in four weeks that Chicago will have avoided playing against Stafford. Driskel filled in for the veteran QB in Detroit's Week 10 loss at Chicago, his first of three starts for the Lions. In those three games (all losses), Driskel completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 685 yards, four TDs and four INTs. He was sacked 11 times, including six times last week, and added 151 yards on the ground.

Injuries: Falcons optimistic WR Julio Jones plays
Jones battled an AC joint sprain injury in Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was able to return and played 45 snaps. The wideout went through walkthrough on Wednesday after missing sessions earlier in the week. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.

Eagles sign kicker Jake Elliott to five-year extension
Slated to be a restricted free agent in 2020 after signing a one-year, $645,000 deal before the season, Elliott is now free to settle down in the City of Brotherly Love.

Earl Thomas guarantees Ravens going to Super Bowl
The former Seahawk speaks like a man who has been there and done that, which he has, against the 49ers and on the biggest stage -- just not with his current team. The Ravens (9-2), of course, can continue backing up their bulletin board material in Baltimore this Sunday against the NFC's top seed. To Thomas' point, his team is already playing like a Super Bowl finalist, winning seven in a row and boasting the league's largest point margin (plus-184). That includes convincing decisions against the Patriots and Seahawks, who are responsible for the 49ers' lone setback this season.