Getty Images

Lewis: Dalton Full Participant In April

Bengals head coach confirmed at NFL Scouting Combine that injured QB will be ready for beginning of the offseason program in April.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis confirmed at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that quarterback Andy Dalton is on schedule with his rehab after fracturing the thumb on his right throwing hand in the Dec. 13 loss to Pittsburgh.

The coach said Dalton is expected to be a full participant in April when the team meets again for the beginning of the offseason program. Dalton fractured his right thumb in the loss to the Steelers, ending his season.

Dalton once again will be caught up in change upon his return to action.

The sixth-year quarterback is on his third offensive coordinator. He started working under Jay Gruden, now head coach in Washington. The past two years the offense was under the direction of Hue Jackson, now in Cleveland. Ken Zampese, formerly Dalton's quarterbacks coach, is the new OC.

With change comes more responsibility for Dalton, Lewis said.

“He has an even bigger role now because the guy he has spent countless hours with now is the offensive coordinator,” said the coach. “He’s going to be an interpreter at times on things and have to basically interpret and take the ball and continue to progress it forward.”

Dalton was on his way to career highs in many passing categories last season before he broke his thumb while trying to make a tackle on a play in which he threw an interception deep in Steelers territory.

While missing out on career-bests in quantitative categories, he did set highs in some qualitative stats, setting career standards in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, interception percentage and yards per attempt.

Dalton set a team single-season record for passer rating at 106.2. The Bengals went 10-2 in games he finished. They were 2-3 in those he didn’t.

Bengals Insider Top Stories