CINCINNATI (AP) Andy Dalton has the cast off his passing hand, and coach Marvin Lewis says it's possible he could be AJ McCarron's backup when the Bengals host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs on Saturday night.

Dalton broke his right thumb while making a tackle in a 33-20 loss to the Steelers on Dec. 13. The fracture has healed enough to have the cast removed. Dalton said on Tuesday that he can move the thumb well, but he hasn't tried to throw.

McCarron is preparing to start his fourth straight game in Dalton's place. The last time an NFL quarterback with such little experience won a playoff game was 1979, when Gifford Nielsen led the Houston Oilers to a win in San Diego.


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