The Bengals have chosen to place rookie quarterback A.J. McCarron on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list.
— NFL Injury News (@NFLInjuryNws) August 31, 2014
In choosing to place McCarron on this list, the Bengals have decided he’ll miss at least the first six weeks of the season. When six weeks is up, the Bengals will then have three weeks to decide whether they’ll put him on the season ending NFI list, promote him to the 53-man roster, or release him. While on the list, McCarron can still attend meeting and learn the NFL game, but he won’t be able to get onto the practice field.
This decision is the best one for both McCarron and the team. The Bengals’ roster is simply too loaded with talent to keep more than two quarterbacks, nor do they need a third when they can keep a quarterback on the practice squad. As for McCarron, it’s best if the team doesn’t rush him into action. Letting his shoulder get healthy is priority number one, but it’s often in a young quarterback’s best interest to learn the NFL game for a year before being challenged to perform on the field. McCarron will have every opportunity to learn the game and the Bengals game-planning and can still do throwing and stengthening work while away from the team.
It’s very realistic that McCarron may spend the entire year on this list. If this happens, the Bengals will have a well-informed, knowledgable backup next year. McCarron is a proven winner and clearly a talented leader of gifted players, so his future can still look very bright regardless of whether he gets on the field this year or not.