The Bengals have turned back to Andy Dalton at quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Jets and Dalton said on Wednesday that head coach Zac Taylor’s decision to reverse course took him by surprise.
Dalton said he didn’t think he’d make another start for the Bengals after Taylor couched the decision to start rookie Ryan Finley as a way to look toward the future. Dalton said he understood why Taylor felt that need, but that he was “bitter” when it first happened.
Over time, though, Dalton said he gained a “whole new perspective” and saw the benching as “just part of my story.” The next part of the story will be trying to get the Bengals their first win of the season and Dalton said he’s not thinking about anything beyond this year.
“I’m worried about this season, these last five games,” Dalton said at a press conference. “I have no idea what’s going to happen moving forward. I’m just worried about these next five.”
Dalton is under contract through the 2020 season, so he could wind up back with the Bengals next year. This year’s benching and the prospect of using a top draft pick on a quarterback may work against that, but this week’s change of plans is a reminder that there are many twists to come for the Bengals as they try to build a competitive team.