Cast-free Dalton throws lefty at Bengals practice

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton finally got to throw a football without a cast on his throwing thumb. Unfortunately, it wasn't with his throwing hand.

While head coach Marvin Lewis has yet to say much about Dalton's status, the veteran quarterback showed up at Tuesday's practice without the cast that's been on his forearm since Week 14 against Pittsburgh. Set to open the playoffs Saturday night against those same Steelers, Lewis opened the week saying that AJ McCarron would prepare as if he would start.

With Lewis playing everything close to the vest, the media eagerly awaited Dalton's arrival at Tuesday's workout, hoping to glean any bit of information. All they got was a scouting report on how Dalton throws as a southpaw.

Dalton's teammates got a kick out of the media presence around their starting quarterback, with receiver A.J. Green throwing out a humorous greeting.

Lewis left open the possibility that Dalton could serve as the backup if McCarron does indeed start. Even at less than 100 percent, Dalton would certainly be a better option than third-stringer Keith Wenning, who has yet to throw an NFL pass.