Pretty straightforward question. Now that the Red Rifle is free of any sort of medical apparatus, do you start him on Saturday? Obviously it’s all going to come down to whether or not Dalton is physically able to go. There’s a big difference between getting a cast removed and actually being healed up enough to throw 20+ passes in an NFL playoff game, but let’s pretend for a second that Andy does feel he’s capable of giving it a go on Saturday. Do you go with your franchise guy who hasn’t thrown a pass in like three weeks or do you stick with the hot hand (for lack of a better term) in Ray Ray McCarron? I think a better question might be at what percentage do you start Andy Dalton? Like is a 75% healed Andy that hasn’t played in a while going to give you a better chance to knock off the Steelers than McCarron who seems to be improving every week? 85%, 90%? Tough to put an actual number on it but the point I’m trying to make is that there’s no reason to trot Andy back out there if he can’t throw the ball downfield consistently and accurately. Or if he’s going to be all over the map at the end of the game because he isn’t in complete football shape on account of the time off. For my money, I’d start Dalton if he feels he’s legitimately able to go. He’s your franchise, $100 million man and I trust that he will make the right decision that benefits the team as that regards to his status on Saturday, whether that means he’ll be starting under center or not. Although unfortunately that doesn’t look real likely at this point cause the only pass he’s thrown to date is that left handed beauty you saw earlier. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what his status is moving forward, which I’m sure will be crystal clear because everyone knows that Marvin Lewis is extremely open and loquacious when it comes to giving updates to the media.
PS- How awesome would it be if Andy surprised everyone and pulled a Willis Reed and came running out of the tunnel and ended up throwing for like 4 TD’s to beat Pittsburgh? Probably would be the single greatest moment in NFL history. Not probably, definitely.