Bengals lose to Steelers as QB Dalton fractures right thumb

Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:12pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will miss at least one game, and could be out for the season, after fracturing the thumb on his throwing hand while making a tackle in the first quarter of Sunday's 33-20 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dalton said he would meet with a specialist on Monday to determine the extent of the injury, which comes at a bad time for the Bengals, who are on the verge of an AFC North division title and pursuing a bye in the postseason.

"It's unfortunate that it happened at this point in the season," Dalton said. "I'll do everything I can to get back as quick as I can to help this team."

The injury occurred when Dalton tackled Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt following an interception. The Bengals' quarterback said he wasn't immediately aware of the extent of his injury.

"I tried to grip a ball on the sideline and thought it was just a bruise I could (play) through," he said. "But I went in and got the X-ray."

A.J. McCarron, who had just four career pass attempts, replaced Dalton and went 22 of 32 for 280 yards and two touchdowns along with two interceptions.

McCarron will make his first NFL start on Sunday at San Francisco.

Although he played in plenty of high-profile games while at the University of Alabama, McCarron acknowledged that the NFL is a different game than college.

For the Bengals, the stakes are high.   Continued...

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports