Bengals planning to start QB Brandon Allen over Ryan Finley vs. Giants

The Cincinnati Bengals’ backup quarterback will remain the backup. A former practice squad QB will leapfrog to the starting gig in the wake of Joe Burrow’s season-ending knee injury.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday morning that the Bengals are planning to start Brandon Allen on Sunday against the New York Giants, per a source informed of the situation.

Ryan Finley, who entered the game when Burrow went down last week against Washington, will remain in the backup spot. Finley completed 3 of 10 passes for 30 yards and an INT for a 0.0 passer rating in five drives after Burrow left the game. A 2019 fourth-round pick, Finley went 0-3 in his career as a starter last year.

The 28-year-old Allen actually has more experience in Zac Taylor’s system. The duo spent two years together with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and 2018. Allen signed with Cincinnati this offseason and has been on the practice squad the entire year before being elevated in the wake of Burrow’s injury.

Allen started three games for the Denver Broncos last year. He showed flashes of promise, guiding the Broncos to a 1-2 record over the stretch. After an impressive win over Cleveland in his first outing, the Allen magic began to wane. He completed 46 percent of his passes for 515 yards with three TDs and two INTs in his three starts. Still, Allen showed the ability to keep the offense functional behind a struggling offensive line – something he’ll again have to deal with in Cincinnati.

Passing up on Finley, who didn’t inspire confidence when he took over for a benched Andy Dalton last year, leads to questions about why he’s the backup in the first place. Nevertheless, sitting at 2-7-1, the Bengals will move forward with the more veteran signal-caller in Allen.

Playing behind a sieve offensive line will do no favors for the new starter, but the Bengals do have weapons on the outside in Tyler Boyd, surging rookie Tee Higgins and veteran A.J. Green.

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