CINCINNATI – Thursday night’s final preseason game for the Cincinnati Bengals was a bit of a yawner.
About 35,000 people strolled into Paul Brown Stadium to watch the Indianapolis Colts knock off the Bengals 13-6, in the final audition for players to make the regular season roster.
Indianapolis played good enough to win but was still in shock after quarterback Andrew Luck surprised everyone when he abruptly announced his retirement from the NFL last week.
Most of the season’s expected starters did not suit up, and Jake Dolegala made his case why his name should be added to the Bengals practice squad.
The undrafted rookie threw for 254 yards and completed 26 of his 41 passes and came close to pulling off a last-minute score that might have tied or even won the game.
Now, he must wait until Saturday to find out his immediate future.
“I thought I did a decent job,” Dolegala said. “I left some plays out there on the field. I have to do a better job of focusing after each play and moving on to the next one.”
He added the next few days will be “stressful” as he awaits the decision from the coaching staff. The team is unlikely to carry three quarterbacks. Andy Dalton, who did not dress for the game, is the starter and Ryan Finley beat out Jeff Driskel for the backup position.
Driskel did not play in the final pre-season game.
“Jake did a nice job,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “He’s a good kid who does things the right way. You pull for him.”
Taylor added he was happy to see Dolegala lead the team down the field in the final moments but wished they could have punched the ball into the end zone for the potential win.
One of the goals of the pre-season games is to avoid injury. That did not happen Thursday in The Jungle.
Rookie running back Rodney Anderson limped off the field in the first quarter after a four-yard gain.
He did not return.
Last year, the Oklahoma product tore his ACL and made a comeback to return to the gridiron. Taylor did not want to speculate on the Anderson’s condition until after a medical evaluation.
Another player who remains on the bubble is Josh Malone, the wide receiver from Tennessee had two catches for 27 yards, but also dropped a wide-open pass in the loss.
Darius Phillips, on the other hand, improved his chances to make the roster.
The cornerback picked off an Indianapolis pass at the five-yard line. He also returned a punt 73-yards for a touchdown that was negated from a penalty.
Taylor added he felt Phillips stood out in the game.
The roster will be announced Saturday and the Bengals open the season September 8 in Seattle.
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