Bengals Backup Derby: Who will Take over If Andy Dalton goes Down?

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After letting backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowki depart via free agency this offseason, the Bengals were left with no one to backup Andy Dalton in the event he were to go down with injury. Zac Robinison had a decent year on the practice squad, but the team is probably hoping to find a veteran backup to be prepared to takeover a Bengals squad expected to make it back to the postseason for the third-straight year.

During the OTA sessions going on right now, Bengals Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden will give Andy Dalton about 70 percent of the work, with the remaining 30% being divided three ways between John Skelton, Josh Johnson, and Zac Robinson:

That’s the quality that a backup quarterback has to have. Being able to know what you’re doing despite not getting many reps. The great backups are able to do that.

They all need the work. Right now we need Andy to get ready and he needs a lot (of snaps), obviously. For us to properly evaluate the three, it’s tough. That’s why with the few reps they’re getting, they have to take advantage of them.

Dec 9, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports


John Skelton figures to be the early favorite to backup Dalton, as he has shown the most potential of any of the three backups, and has had some decent stretches of football in his two-year career, despite playing for a woefully bad Arizona Cardinals team. Skelton was claimed this offseason after the Cardinals got new Head Coach Bruce Arians, and decided to overhaul the offense. Skelton has 15 touchdowns to 25 interceptions in 17 career starts with the Cardinals. He has also thrown for a total of 3,707 yards when he has seen action.

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Tags: Cincinnati Bengals John Skelton Josh Johnson