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Andy Dalton (sore neck) leaves as precaution after TD dive on first drive

CINCINNATI -- Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton left Saturday night's preseason game against the Chicago Bears with a neck injury that appeared to have happened on his first and only series of the night.

Dalton capped the 16-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown dive that came on fourth-and-goal. He took a couple hard hits as he fell forward for the score.

"He's fine," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said at halftime through a member of the team's media relations department. "Taking him out was just precautionary."

The injury ended what had been a promising night for Dalton. He went 6-for-6 for 52 yards on the drive. He needed to string together a few possessions like that after a poor performance Monday night at Tampa Bay. In one half of play against the Buccaneers, Dalton was 6-for-13 for 46 yards. He also threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.

"We wanted to come out and set the tone right away after last week," Dalton said, also speaking to a team's media relations official at halftime. "We wanted to come out and play fast, and that's exactly what we did.

"It got a little tough at the end, but that just made us want to score more. I knew I'd get in [on the dive]. I knew our line would do it for me."

Bengals officials originally announced that Dalton was questionable to return, but that status was downgraded moments later when backup AJ McCarron entered the game for Cincinnati's second possession.By halftime, McCarron was 6-for-6 for 62 yards and a touchdown.

McCarron played only one other preseason game before entering Saturday's. Against Tampa Bay, he was 11-for-15 for 97 yards.


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