Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will likely miss the remainder of the season after suffering a fractured thumb in Sunday’s 33-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, the best outlook for Dalton would be a return during the playoffs.
Here's what I'm told about Andy Dalton's fractured thumb: likely season ending, best case scenario is playoffs, per multiple team sources.
— bob holtzman (@Bob_Holtzman) December 13, 2015
Dalton said he injured his thumb in the first quarter on the final play of the team’s opening drive. Dalton threw an interception on the play and tried tackling Stephon Tuitt. He appeared to hit his thumb on Tuitt’s knee.
After not being able to grip a football on the sideline, Dalton knew his day was over. He went into the locker room before returning to the sideline with a black cast on his hand.
When Dalton misses next Sunday’s game against the 49ers, it will be the first start he misses in his NFL career.
Cincinnati now turns to A.J. McCarron. The former Alabama star finished with 280 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Dalton. He also threw two interceptions.
The Bengals have three games remaining against San Francisco, the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens. The loss on Sunday dropped Cincinnati to 10-3, tied with the Broncos for the second-best record in the AFC. Entering Sunday Night Football, the New England Patriots were 10-2.