CINCINNATI (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER) -Ryan Finley will make his first start of the season on Monday night, our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer said.
Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor said following Saturday’s practice that the second-year quarterback will start versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Finley’s practiced with the first-team offense this entire week while Brandon Allen sat out due to a right knee injury. Allen injured his right knee during the fourth quarter in the team’s Week 14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Bengals declared Allen out for Monday night.
The 2-10-1 Bengals are starting their third different quarterback of the season because of knee injuries. Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending left knee injury in Week 11 and Allen banged up his knee in Week 14. As a result, the next man up is Finley.
Finley’s completed 10-of-19 passing for 75 yards and he’s thrown two interceptions in spot duty this season.
The Bengals experimented with Finley in 2019. The North Carolina State product went 41-for-87 passing for 474 yards to with two touchdowns and two picks in three starts. He went 0-3 in those starts at QB.
Kevin Hogan is slated to be Cincinnati’s backup quarterback on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium.
Steelers coach impressed with Bates: Several coaches are taking notice of Bengals free safety Jessie Bates this season. Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores complimented Bates in advance of their Week 13 matchup. Add Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to the list of admirers, too.
“I just can’t say enough about the play of their safety tandem, specifically Jessie Bates. He’s making plays in the pass game but he’s also making plays in the run game,” Tomlin said. “He seems to be doing more for them than he used to. He’s a good player. They are asking him to do more and he’s delivering more.”
Pro Football Focus gave Bates the highest safety grade (91.5) in the NFL entering Week 15. He currently leads all safeties with 14 pass deflections.
The free safety is the team-leader in interceptions (three) and second on the squad in tackles (92).
D-line hoping they can get after Big Ben: The Bengals defensive line hardly affected Ben Roethlisberger in the first meeting this season. Roethlisberger wasn’t sacked once and he was only pressed six times on 46 drop backs. The veteran QB tossed for a season-high 333 yards in Pittsburgh’s Week 10 win. Bengals defensive tackle Mike Daniels is hopeful he and the d-line can create more trouble for the Steelers quarterback this time around.
“We just have to disengage, get off our blocks and get to the quarterback. Win our blocks, we have to make sure we actually get rid of the offensive lineman. I know that’s something personally that I have to do better from last game,” Daniels said. “We know he has a quick release and there’s definitely a concern with that. So, getting our hands up and trying to bat some balls down we can still win our rushes.”
Daniels has 14 tackles and four quarterback pressures in nine starts this season.
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