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 are signing FA QB AJ McCarron to their practice squad, source said. Some starting experience on the roster in case Joe Burrow (calf) can't go.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 23, 2023
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.
Wow huge Bengals news— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) September 23, 2023
AJ McCarron is here at the Bengals facility dressed in an orange jersey (No.4) with cleats and a football in hand
He said he’s here to workout
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.
AJ McCarron on HTPG about a potential return: “I can’t tell you how many times our family has talked about it, just going back to Cincinnati and how awesome it would be to end my career there or retire a Bengal. I loved our time in Cincinnati.”— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 23, 2023
The Bengals brought Reid Stinnett in on short notice this week. He'll be the backup is Joe Burrow doesn't play this week.— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) September 23, 2023
McCarron shined in the XFL but wasn't in a training camp this year. After the Bengals lost Will Grier, they're looking at QB3 options.
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