NFL Playoffs 2012: Andy Dalton Misses Bengals Practice With Illness

The Cincinnati Bengals have put a lot of faith in rookie quarterback Andy Dalton this season, letting him start all 16 games. So far, their faith has been repaid handsomely. Now, it looks like they are playing it careful and giving Dalton the day off from practice just days before their AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The official word is apparently that Dalton is day-to-day and essentially called in sick with an intestinal virus.

Bengals blog Cincy Jungle pointed out that the temperatures in Cincinnati hovered around 20 degrees on Wednesday.

The Bengals have managed Dalton pretty expertly this year. The TCU product has thrown for 3,398 yards, completed more than 58 percent of his passes and thrown 20 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. None of those are eye-popping numbers, but Dalton does get bonus points for leading the Bengals to a 9-7 record and back into the playoffs.

It is also worth pointing out that the Bengals' playoff appearance is just their second in the past six years and the third since 1991. The Bengals are hardly the kind of team where rookie quarterbacks are expected to succeed.

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