The Cincinnati Bengals suffered a tough injury last week when Andy Dalton fractured his thumb, but they appear to be at least somewhat prepared for it. Jay Glazer is reporting the Bengals started giving backup AJ McCarron some first team reps six weeks ago. The team did not expect an injury to Dalton, but they wanted to be prepared just in case.
The Bengals raced out to an 8-0 record this season, and currently sit at 10-3 with a two-game lead on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North. While they probably will win the division, they suffered a big injury last week when Andy Dalton fractured the thumb on his throwing hand. AJ McCarron replaced him following the injury, and although Cincinnati lost, McCarron put together a respectable performance. He finished the game 22 of 32 for 280 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
McCarron will make his first career start against the 49ers, and likely has had a slightly busy week. Getting into the game is a lot different than getting some first team practice reps, but this strikes me as pretty useful for McCarron. He won't get all the chemistry one might want between quarterback and his offense, but it's a step forward for him. He faces a 49ers defense that has been decidedly better at home than on the road. They allow a league low 15.8 points per game at home. Aaron Lynch is a question for the 49ers, so his status will certainly be something to consider.