The Cincinnati Bengals are off to a rough 0-2 start to the season and star quarterback Joe Burrow is banged up. In the event that he can’t play in Week 3, the team has signed former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback A.J. McCarron to the practice squad, per a September 23 X post from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
McCarron originally came into the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Bengals in 2014. He’s played for four other teams over the course of his career and even spent time with the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL.
McCarron has only started in four games over the course of his career so he wouldn’t be able to replace the production that Burrow brings to the team. Though he hasn’t made much of an impact in the NFL, he was excellent in the XFL. He led the league this year in passing touchdowns (24), passer rating (108.4) and competition percentage (68.8%).
McCarron has been playing football for a long time and should be able to at least run an offense in the event that Burrow can’t play. That said, Jake Browning has been with the team all season so he’ll be first to get the nod but there’s a chance that McCarron will be his backup this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo Talks Struggles Against Buffalo Bills
Similar to the Bengals, a highly talented Raiders offense is struggling to score points through two games. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has already thrown three interceptions and the team has yet to score more than 17 points in a game. Garoppolo believes that it has more to do with the team making avoidable mistakes.
” I just said it after the game, a lot of self-inflicted wounds, just things we could correct, though,” Garoppolo said during his September 20 media availability. “I thought we had a pretty good day out here doing that. Really, it’s about getting guys on the same page, getting us into a rhythm and things will take care of themselves from there.”
The Raiders play a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense on Sunday so it’s be another difficult test. That said, the team does have the talent to score points on strong defenses.
Josh McDaniels Talks Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
While the Steelers’ offense is arguably the worst in the NFL, the defense remains elite. Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, Pittsburgh had six sacks and forced four turnovers. They also scored two defensive touchdowns. Even if the Raiders’ defense has a great day, it’s still possible for the Steelers to win with just the defense.
Head coach Josh McDaniels spoke about how effective the team’s defense can be.
“They play with such a great effort, regardless of the circumstances in a game,” McDaniels said during his September 20 media availability. “And so, Cleveland obviously out-gained them. I think Cleveland had 80-some plays they ran offensively and Pittsburgh had 50-some. But you’re watching the game and you’re seeing it and I’m watching all three phases, and just the effort and the tenacity and just every play they’re trying to do the right things to flip the game, and ultimately they did.”
The Raiders need to play clean football if they hope to win in Week 3.