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AJ McCarron joins Bengals practice squad

AJ McCarron is officially back with the Cincinnati Bengals.

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NFL: JAN 09 AFC Wild Card - Steelers at Bengals Photo by John Sommers/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Update: It’s done.

AJ McCarron has signed with the Bengals practice squad following a Saturday workout with the team.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport broke the news on Twitter.

The Bengals have since announced the addition of AJ McCarron while also cutting defensive end Garrett Nelson from the practice squad.

Not really sure if this is a sign that Joe Burrow isn’t playing Monday. He’s officially listed as questionable to play vs. the Rams.

The Cincinnati Bengals may be on the verge of signing a new quarterback, and boy, is it a blast from the past.

As Saturday’s practice kicked off, media at the sessions noticed there was a new quarterback in town for a workout.

And it was none other than AJ McCarron.

McCarron, a 2014 fifth-round NFL Draft pick by way of the Alabama Crimson Tide, enjoyed success as a backup during his time in Cincinnati before leaving town. From there, McCarron bounced around several NFL teams but never could seem to stick with anyone.

For his career, McCarron completed 62.6% of his passes for 1,173 yards and six touchdowns vs. three interceptions in 17 regular-season games (four starts). He last played in the NFL in 2020 with the Houston Texans.

McCarron did sign a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021. Sadly, he suffered a torn ACL in the Week 2 preseason game against the Miami Dolphins and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

While he hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass since 2020, McCarron did play football this past spring with the St. Louis Battlehawks. There, he went 6-3 as a starter while completing 68.8% of his passes for 2,150 yards and 24 touchdowns vs. six interceptions.

McCarron’s most memorable NFL stint came late in the 2015 season when he became the Bengals’ starter after Andy Dalton went down with a thumb injury. The former Alabama Football national champion went 2-1 as a starter in the regular season, then nearly helped the Bengals break their playoff skid before coming up short vs. the Steelers in the Wild Card round.

So of course, there’s a bit of irony in McCarron being back in town with the starting QB potentially out due to injury. Joe Burrow’s calf injury continues to linger and could sideline him Monday vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

As of now, Jake Browning would be the starter, with practice squad QB Reid Sinnett as his backup if Burrow is out.

Will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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