After saying he fractured the thumb on his throwing hand Sunday afternoon in the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton reportedly won’t need surgery to repair it, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
As far as when Dalton will be able to play again, Schefter reports that will depend entirely on how quickly he’s able to heal.
Dalton, who injured his right thumb while tackling Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt following a first quarter interception, said after Sunday’s game that he was scheduled to see a hand specialist sometime Monday.
Many reporters have since speculated that Dalton would miss the remainder of the regular season with his thumb injury and that he could quite possibly be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Dalton will undoubtedly miss the Bengals Week 15 road game against the San Francisco 49ers and more than likely the following week’s road game against the Denver Broncos. The Bengals regular-season finale is at home against the Baltimore Ravens and depending on whether or not they can increase their playoff seeding in Week 17, they might not even need Dalton to play in that game, assuming they have already clinched a playoff spot by then.
In the meantime, backup A.J. McCarron will be the Bengals starting quarterback until Dalton is able to play again. Sunday against the Steelers, the Alabama product completed 22 of his 32 pass attempts in the game for 280 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in relief of Dalton.
The (8-5) Steelers currently trail the (10-3) Bengals by two games in the AFC North with three weeks remaining in the season.