CINCINNATI (AP) — AJ McCarron will have to wait for at least six weeks to get his NFL career going.
The Bengals put McCarron on an injury list Saturday, leaving the fifth-round draft choice ineligible to practice with the team for the first six weeks of the season. A sore shoulder forced him to miss training camp practices.
McCarron was the ninth quarterback taken overall in the draft. He won national titles with Alabama in 2011-12 and went 36-4 as a starter. Cincinnati is interested in McCarron as a backup to Andy Dalton, who got a six-year contract extension this month.
McCarron will continue on his throwing program. He’s eligible to go onto the active roster following the sixth week of the season.
“AJ’s doing really fine,” coach Marvin Lewis said during a conference call on Saturday. “Doing very well.”
Jason Campbell is the backup as the defending AFC North champions get ready for their season opener in Baltimore in a week.
Four draft picks from recent years were waived on Saturday as Cincinnati got to the 53-man roster limit. The Bengals also released safety Danieal Manning, an offseason free agent acquisition from Houston.
The Bengals brought back the core of the team that has reached the playoffs each of the last three seasons but lost its opening game all three times. They made it through training camp and the preseason with few injuries.
“Going into the year, we’ve got to feel good about where we are and excited about where we are,” Lewis said. “And they understand what’s ahead.”
The Bengals’ most noteworthy roster move came on Friday, when they released running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He was their leading rusher each of the last two seasons, but wound up sharing the role with Giovani Bernard last year.
The Bengals drafted Jeremy Hill in the second round, giving them another running back that can catch the ball. Bernard and Hill were the top two backs during training camp drills, with Green-Ellis relegated to third.
“It’s good for Bennie to go somewhere and get an opportunity to play,” Lewis said. “He handled the whole thing very classy all the way through the spring and everything. We kept him here for a while to give us insurance in case anything happened to anybody.”
Four former draft picks were among those waived on Satuday: H-back Orson Charles (fourth round 2012), receiver Cobi Hamilton (sixth round 2013), defensive end Dontay Moch (third round 2011) and defensive tackle Devon Still (second round 2012).
The Bengals also waived offensive tackle Dan France, cornerback Victor Hampton, defensive tackle David King, receiver Colin Lockett, cornerback Onterio McCalebb, defensive end Sam Montgomery, fullback Nikita Whitlock, halfback James Wilder Jr. and center Trevor Robinson, who started seven games in 2012 as an injury fill-in. Rookie Russell Bodine won the starting job at center in camp.
Offensive tackle Will Svitek was released, guard Trey Hopkins went on injured reserve with a leg injury, and cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris went on the suspended list. He’ll miss two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Also, cornerback Lavelle Westbrooks was waived with an injury settlement.