Winless Bengals bench QB Dalton for rookie Finley

The Cincinnati Bengals are benching longtime starting quarterback Andy Dalton in favor of rookie Ryan Finley, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday.

Ryan Finley
Bengals QB Ryan Finley. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

First-year coach Zac Taylor is making the move — on Dalton’s 32nd birthday — during the team’s bye week following an 0-8 start.

Cincinnati is 29th in the NFL in scoring at 15.5 points per game and 25th in yards per game (317.2). The Bengals haven’t scored more than 23 points in any game and often have been in catch-up mode, with Dalton leading the league in passing attempts (338) and completions (204).

He has thrown for 2,252 yards, with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Dalton has started 128 games for the Bengals since the start of his rookie season in 2011, when he was a second-round pick out of TCU. He led the team to 50 victories in his first five seasons, but the franchise has struggled since then, last making the playoffs in the 2015 season, with Dalton posting an 18-32-1 record in the past 3 1/2 years.

The Bengals made the playoffs in each of Dalton’s first five seasons, losing the wild-card game each year.

Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has completed 2,647 of 4,259 career passes for 30,352 yards, with 197 touchdowns and 112 interceptions.

Finley confirmed the move to The Athletic but was waiting for Taylor to comment before saying more.

The Bengals selected Finley in the fourth round out of North Carolina State. He is now expected to make his NFL debut when Cincinnati hosts the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 10, when star receiver A.J. Green is hoping to make his season debut.

In three preseason games, Finley was 47 of 64 for 414 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)