Andy Dalton Injury: Why Did Bengals Pull Rookie QB?
So, did Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton suffer a hip injury or not?
Dalton, who noticeably limped off the field in the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, was first reported to have suffered a hip injury when he left the game in the fourth quarter.
However, later it was reported he was instead taken out of the game by the coaching staff.
It's worth noting that when Dalton left the game, the Bengals were trailing, 35-7, and Dalton wasn't having a very good day, going 11-of-24 for 135 yards and one touchdown. It's possible the coaching staff just figured he was having one of those days and gave him a rest, especially after Steelers linebacker James Harrison hit him hard in the third quarter.
But it's also worth noting that the Bengals have gone 7-5 with Dalton under center, and they were widely considered the worst team in the NFL before the season started.
Before Sunday's game, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went so far to say Dalton deserved the Rookie of the Year award...even with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the running.
There is no telling exactly what the thinking was on that sideline and there was no blowup by Dalton for getting taken out.
But if he wanted to play, he should have been allowed to play, regardless of his struggles. In fact, that was even more reason for him to continue playing, to learn on the job against a top defense in the NFL.
Rookies need playing time to develop. You can't just say, "Better luck next time." If the Bengals held Dalton out on their own terms, they are handling Dalton the wrong way.
Becoming a better quarterback comes with experience.
As tough as Sunday's game was, it should have been viewed as an opportunity for Dalton to learn more about the game.
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