- Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer
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CINCINNATI -- AJ McCarron said Tuesday afternoon that he feels fine and his throwing shoulder feels even better.
So why then hasn't the rookie quarterback participated in a single one of the Cincinnati Bengals' practices so far this training camp?
Because apparently his bosses don't want him to.
"Mr. Brown and Coach Lewis just want to give me a lot of rest," McCarron said, referring to team president Mike Brown and head coach Marvin Lewis. "I'm just doing what they say."
McCarron's comments came after Lewis held a mid-week news conference earlier in the afternoon.
The fifth-round draft pick came to Cincinnati with a little arm tightness back in May, causing him to miss time at the beginning of organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp. He eventually practiced before the spring practice session ended in the middle of June, but he hasn't since then. When the Bengals announced their pre-training camp injuries, McCarron ended up on their active non-football injury list with a right shoulder injury. He remains there.
McCarron couldn't pinpoint specifically to what the arm tightness can be attributed to, but it seems that it may simply be a case of soreness from his final college season that needed to be worked completely out. That at least appears to be the Bengals' thinking, as they've shut him down through the first two weeks of camp. When the team starts the preseason at Kansas City on Thursday night, McCarron won't get behind center. Only Andy Dalton, Jason Campbell and Matt Scott will take game reps.
Dalton is only expected to see one or two series.
When asked if he could have been overused at Alabama, McCarron, a two-time national championship game starter, said he wasn't sure.
"It was probably a number of things," he said. "If you've thrown your whole life, you're going to eventually have a sore arm at some point."
McCarron added that like many others before him, he played through his share of injuries while in college.
"That's what I wanted to do. I wasn't going to come out," McCarron said. "It probably wasn't the best for [the shoulder], but that's just what I wanted to do. Nobody made me go out there and play. I wanted to keep playing."
For now, McCarron is participating in a controlled throwing program with head trainer Nick Cosgray. Each day after practice he's been on a side field attempting somewhere between 60-70 throws to Cosgray. The throws seldom travel much farther than 20 yards at this point, but the idea is for him to deliver them with the same velocity and mechanics that he would in a game situation.
McCarron said he hasn't had any issues with the shoulder following those throwing sessions.
The only issue he has had involves the disappointment of being unable to practice.
"The frustrating part is because you're a competitor and you want to compete," McCarron said. "But other than that, again, it's Mr. Brown and Coach Lewis' call. Whatever they tell me to do, I'm just trying to do it to the best of my ability and then show them that I'll do whatever. When my time comes, my time comes."