CINCINNATI — Brandon Allen will be the Bengals' starting quarterback on Sunday against the New York Giants.
Allen was promoted from the practice squad on Monday. Ryan Finley will be his backup.
The decision to start Allen may not seem significant with Joe Burrow out for the season, but it does reflect how the coaching staff truly feels about Finley.
This is the same quarterback the Bengals traded up to select in the 2019 NFL Draft.
They parted with three picks: Nos. 110, 183 and 198 to move up six spots to take the NC State product at No. 104.
Finley has appeared in five games and made three starts. The 25-year-old has completed 44-of-97 passes (45.4%) for 504 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Finley replaced Burrow in Sunday's game against Washington. He completed 3-of-10 passes for 30 yards and one interception.
Struggling on the road with a deflated team that just watched the franchise get carted off the field is acceptable. A lot of guys would play poorly in that situation.
He didn't get many reps in training camp or practice this season. Most of them have gone to Burrow. The Bengals were trying to get their rookie quarterback ready for his first NFL season.
The decision to start Allen over Finley is proof that they got it wrong in the draft. They never should've traded up for him.
This is just another failed experiment by this coaching staff. They wanted Finley. They believed in him so much that they didn't dip their toe into free agency following Andy Dalton's release.
"We're set," Taylor said in May. "We've got three young guys we really look forward to investing a lot of reps in. We think they have bright futures. We feel really good about where we're at right now."
At the time Jake Dolegala was on the roster. They cut him at the end of training camp.
This coaching staff knows they need to win games. The fact that they turned to Allen and not Finley speaks volumes.
The Bengals signed Allen on Aug. 1. He spent time in Los Angeles with Taylor. Their main reason for signing him was because of COVID-19. They wanted another quarterback on their roster and Allen was familiar with Taylor's offensive system.
They'll hand the reigns to the 28-year-old on Sunday against the Giants.
No one ever thought Finley was the Bengals' quarterback of the future, but there was some hope that he could be a quality backup.
That ship has sailed. It's Allen-time in the Queen City. The Finley experiment is officially over.
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