In two moves that were widely expected before Thursday's game (8:25 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 5) in Miami, the Bengals activated wide receiver Andrew Hawkins from the injured reserve-recall list and the NFL named quarterback Andy Dalton AFC Offensive Player of the Month.
Hawkins, a slot receiver who last season finished second among Bengals wide receivers with 51 catches for 533 yards, severely twisted his ankle in practice Aug. 1 diving for a ball. With starting wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (shoulder) questionable for Thursday's game, Hawkins and Dane Sanzenbacher could team to fill Sanu's spot in the slot. Hawkins is also an effective gunner on punt coverage and had three special teams tackles last season.
In becoming the first Bengals quarterback since Carson Palmer in September 2005 to win the award, Dalton has posted a 116.8 passer rating while leading the Bengals to a 4-0 record in October. The team has moved to 6-2 on the season and taken a two-and-a-half game lead in the AFC North Division.
Dalton has completed 89 of 131 passes (68.0 percent) for 1,246 yards, an average of 311.5 yards per game for the month. He has passed for 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions. All of his touchdown passes came in the last three games, and he became the first Bengals QB to pass for 11 TDs in a three-game span. He threw a career-high five TD passes in last week's 49-9 home win over the New York Jets, with four of those going to WR Marvin Jones, who earlier this week was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 8.
"I've got a lot of great teammates to work with and I'll take this award on behalf of all of them," Dalton said in a news release. "Everybody deserves a piece of it, including the coaches who are putting everything together for us."
Dalton was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his Week 6 performance on Oct. 13 at Buffalo. At the halfway point of the season, he and Jones have now accounted for three weekly or monthly AFC awards, and the team is on pace to match last year's season total of six, which tied a franchise record also set in 1988 and 1989.
The last Bengals player to win an AFC Offensive Player of the Month award was WR A.J. Green, named for September of last season.
Also Thursday the Bengals signed defensive end DeQuin Evans to the practice squad.
CHAD SIGHTING: Chad Johnson, the Miami native who became the Bengals all-time leading receiver during a charismatic and chaotic decade, looks like he'll be on the Bengals sideline Thursday.
Johnson, who remains close to Bengals running backs coach Hue Jackson, had plans to visit the team hotel Thursday morning and pick up his sideline pass from head coach Marvin Lewis. Johnson said he needs to be on the field.
"I couldn't stand watching from the stands," Johnson said. "I'd go crazy. I'd streak the field."
Johnson, an analyst for CBSSports.com on Sundays, says he's looking forward to seeing his successor, A.J. Green, play up close for the first time.