Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said if it had been the regular season, he would have stayed in Saturday night's game. But since it was the third pre-season game and his neck had just awkwardly turned under about two tons of humanity at the goal line on his fourth-and-one touchdown sneak, the Bengals gave him the rest of the night off in the 21-10 victory over the Bears.
"I was just sitting at the bottom of the pile," Dalton said. "I really couldn't move and my head was in an awkward position . . .I threw well on the sideline and was just honest with them about how I felt and they said, 'Let's just not worry about it and get it right.' " . . .
Cincinnati Bengals host Chicago Bears in preseason week 3 08/29/2015
AJ McCarron's first TD ball was safely tucked in his locker with the inscription written on tape: "No. 5 to No. 82 vs. Bears." After taking the 31-yard pass all the way, wide receiver Marvin Jones gave the ball to McCarron as they congratulated each other.
McCarron hit Jones on a deep in on the right side, and he led him well enough at the 10-yard line that Jones kept running across the middle and then cut it back for the touchdown.
"I told him, 'You're a bad man,' "Jones said . . .
All McCarron could say about Jones' gesture was "unbelievable." . . .
With the Bengals dodging a bullet on Dalton and the starters not expected to play in the pre-season finale Thursday in Indianapolis, they look extremely healthy heading into Oakland for the Sept. 13 opener. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth feels good about where they sit because they got back some of their identity after the struggles in Tampa Monday night.
"This is who we want to be," Whitworth said. "Play good defense, be able to run it and throw it and do what we want. We feel good about that." . . .
Whitworth's holding call wiped out McCarron's 43-yard pass to Jones early in the second quarter.
"They're going to call it close either way this time of year. I'm sure I can do better," Whitworth said. "Getting used to him and where he's going to be in the pocket and those kinds of things. It's just kind of different. Every quarterback is a little different and that's what I told him. I just have to get to know him and where he's going to be. It's not his fault at all." . . .
Asked to comment on Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones' five-year $71 million extension, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said, "Well deserved." Asked if it will speed up his extension bid Green said, "I don't know. It's not my team." . . .
Second-round pick Jake Fisher, the left tackle from Oregon, made his debut Saturday after missing the first two games with a shouder issue. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson didn't hesitate and employed him as the extra tackle in the heavy package on the second snap. He did that maybe ten or 12 times or so with the first group before playing left tackle with the second group.
"It's definitely exciting. First time on the field putting work in with the boys, seeing what I can do," Fisher said.
Fisher struggled a bit with the flags. He was called twice for illegal formation, not being on the line of scrimmage, but he thought he was lined up OK. He was also called for a hold that was wiped out by a fumble.
"I just got out of balance. I tried to come back on the guy and ended up getting a holding call," said Fisher, who admitted he got more comfortable as the game went along. "I just got more settled in. My nerves calmed down. Things started slowing down a little bit. I just have to continue to improve."