Bengals AJ McCarron returns to team after birth of his son

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bengals QB AJ McCarron returns to team after missing a week for the birth of his son

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

AJ McCarron made playing quarterback in the NFL almost look easy when he stepped in as the starter and played well last December after Andy Dalton broke this thumb.

Last week in Alabama, McCarron’s wife, Katherine, made another difficult duty look simple when she gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy they named Tripp.

“She laughed him out,” AJ said of the May 24 birth. “I made her laugh, and she literally laughed twice hard and he was out. The doctor was like ‘That was probably the easiest delivery I’ve been a part of.’”

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McCarron said he often jokes with Katherine when she is complaining about something hurting, telling her to be tough and “gut up.”

It’s a line from the movie “World War X” that AJ couldn’t resist quoting again in the delivery room.

“She was breathing hard and the doc was like, ‘you’re going to be fine’ and I was like, “Gut Up,’” he said. “She laughed hard twice and he was out. It was awesome.”

McCarron missed all three of last week’s practices to be in Alabama with his family. But he looked sharp in his return Tuesday.

“It felt funny at first literally taking that many days off and being away from it and not really paying attention to what we were putting in,” he said. “I was a little nervous. I felt like it was my first time back after my injury. Once my first couple plays started going, I felt fine.”

“I just tried to trust how I do things and trust my timing,” he added. “Those guys have been here for some time now. I trusted they were going to do their job and everything worked out.”

Burfict full go: One week after leaving practice early following position drills, linebacker Vontaze Burfict was a full participant .

And his presence was certainly noticed. And felt.

Even in a non-contact practice, Burfict got in a couple of shots during a red-zone drill. On one, he met running back Giovani Bernard on a short crossing pass. Burfict didn’t lower his shoulder or make a tackle, he sinply stopped Bernard in his tracks and then gave him a playful shove.

On another play, Burfict stripped tight end Tyler Kroft of the ball, sending it rolling into the end zone. Both players chased it, with Kroft arriving first to dive on the ball. Then Burfict dove on Kroft.

“There’s a reason he’s been as successful as he is because he goes out there and he competes,” Kroft said of Burfict. “The ball was tucked in and he got a hand on it. I don’t know. I was trying to make sure that he didn’t end up with the ball. I wanted to get on it.

“He does come out there with a level of intensity and he’s not afraid to hit, obviously,” Kroft added. “It’s a lot of fun practicing with him.”

Roll call: Rey Maulauga was not at practice for the second consecutive Tuesday, which is the only day open to the media during OTAs. Maualuga showed up at the end of the open locker room period, so he is around. It's unclear why he hasn't been practicing.

Tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher also didn’t practice, although Ogbuehi worked on the side rehab field. Neither player is expected to miss significant time, nor is h-back Ryan Hewitt, who watched in street clothes for the second consecutive Tuesday.

James Wright and Brandon Thompson, both of whom are recovering from knee injuries, also did work on the side.