Bengals News

Week 9 notes: Bengals’ AJ McCarron, John Ross’ status, Nugent returns

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GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback AJ McCarron #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bengals 34-31. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback AJ McCarron #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bengals 34-31. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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McCarron remains

In rare fashion, the Cincinnati Bengals made headlines at the NFL trade deadline. In typical fashion, the Bengals did not make a trade.

Per reports, Cincinnati was ready to ship second-string quarterback AJ McCarron to the Browns. In exchange, Cleveland would give the Bengals a second and third-round pick in the 2018 draft.

The Browns seem to have given up early on rookie DeShone Kizer. The second-rounder has thrown 11 interceptions against just three touchdowns and has been benched twice this season.

This trade would have reunited McCarron with Hue Jackson, his former offensive coordinator. Under Jackson’s tutelage in 2015, McCarron helped finish off the Bengals’ division-winning campaign with two victories in three starts.

However, that trade never occurred. The Browns sent a copy of the deal to Cincinnati, but nothing to the NFL.

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So in the end, no dice. McCarron remains a Bengal.

McCarron will remain on the sidelines as Andy Dalton’s backup this season. An independent arbitrator will decide if the Alabama product will be a restricted or unrestricted free agent in 2018. If he’s restricted, expect more calls for Mike Brown about a trade.

Ross’ status

Three wide receivers appear on the Bengals’ injury report for Week 9. Neither of those three wideouts is named John Ross. The rookie has not missed a practice since October 6. Since then, he’s been limited twice and a full-go five times. (He is considered a full participant for Wednesday’s practice because he’s not on the injury report)

Marvin Lewis claimed Ross was not part of the offensive game plan against the Colts, and he only dressed because Cody Core was inactive.

Core (concussion) was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. It’s worth monitoring if Brandon LaFell (hamstring) or Tyler Boyd (knee) are in danger of missing Sunday’s bout with the Jaguars. If all three are active, it’s up in the air if Ross sees the field.

Fournette’s return

Leonard Fournette missed Jacksonville’s 27-0 win over the Colts in Week 7 with an ankle injury. After two weeks of rest, he is set to return when the Bengals come to town.

The fourth overall pick in last April’s draft is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games (he has three total) and has found the end zone in every game but one this season.

The Bengals come into Sunday’s matchup ranked No.16 against the run. But, the last two weeks Cincinnati has been suspect in the ground game, giving up 82 yards to Frank Gore and 134 to Le’Veon Bell.

Nugent reappears

Ex-Bengal Mike Nugent returned to the NFL scene in Week 8 with the Dallas Cowboys. On a soggy day in our Nation’s Capital, Nugent made four field goals and three extra points in the Cowboys’ 33-19 win over the Redskins.

Nugent was cut by the Bengals in December of last season after missing 12 kicks (six field goals, six extra points) in 13 games.

Next: Can They Turn Things Around?

It is likely Nugent is auditioning right now. The Cowboys have one of the league’s best kickers in Dan Bailey. When the Pro-Bowler returns, Nugent could be out, but if he turns in more clutch performances like last week he should have no problem finding work with another club later in the season.

Meanwhile, Bengals kicker Randy Bullock appeared on the injury report with a back injury and did not practice on Wednesday.

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