Coach Zac Taylor announced Monday that Dalton will start Week 13 against the New York Jets, noting it was the best decision for a Bengals team searching for its first win of the season.
The winless Bengals benched the veteran signal-caller before their Week 9 bye week desiring to see rookie Ryan Finley get a shot in a lost season.
Cincy has seen enough of Finley.
In three starts, the rookie quarterback completed 47.1 percent of 87 pass attempts for 474 yards, 5.4 yards per attempt, with two touchdowns, two interceptions and 11 sacks, lost three fumbles and did not throw for 200 yards in any game. Lacking ideal arm strength, Finley struggled to move the ball consistently in Taylor's offense, averaging 11.0 points per game in the three contests with the rookie. Finley's 62.1 passer rating is 17.1 points lower than Dalton's 79.2 passer rating this season.
The Bengals offense put up its ninth game with fewer than 20 points scored this season -- tied for most in the NFL with the Redskins -- in Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After getting their evaluation of Finley done, it's clear the Bengals will look to the 2020 draft for their signal-caller of the future. Sitting at 0-11, Cincinnati has a two-game lead for the No. 1 overall pick with five games left to play.
Now the Bengals will turn back to Dalton to try to avoid a winless season. Dalton returns to face a hot Jets defense that swarmed the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in a 34-3 win. Cincinnati closes the season facing the Browns, Patriots, Dolphins and Browns again.
Taylor hopes going back to Dalton can spur the Bengals to a win down the stretch to avoid the third 0-16 season in NFL history.