Bengals promote veteran QB AJ McCarron to 53-man roster

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Cincinnati Bengals promoted veteran quarterback AJ McCarron to bolster depth in the wake of Joe Burrow's season-ending injury.

McCarron was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad, the team announced ahead of Monday night's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. McCarron will remain the primary backup behind Jake Browning, who will make his second career start.

McCarron was signed to the practice squad after Burrow reinjured his right calf in a Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He remained the team's No. 3 quarterback until Burrow suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist against Baltimore on Week 11. McCarron was a temporary elevation for the team's Week 12 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The spot on the 53-man roster was vacated by cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt, who was placed on injured reserve Monday. The move came after the second-year player out of Nebraska suffered a sprained ankle in Friday's practice. Taylor-Britt, who led the team with four interceptions, will miss a minimum of four games.

This is McCarron's second stint with the Bengals. In 2014, the Bengals drafted McCarron in the fourth round. He was with the team until 2017 as a reserve behind starter Andy Dalton. When Dalton suffered a season-ending thumb injury in 2015, McCarron stepped in and started three games for a Bengals team that won the AFC North and was eliminated in a wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McCarron appeared in 17 NFL games from 2014 to 2020. In 2023, he appeared in nine games for the XFL's St. Louis Battlehawks. McCarron completed 68.8% of his passes for 24 touchdowns and six interceptions with St. Louis.