Bengals QB Andy Dalton out for season with broken thumb
CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton is out for the rest of the season with an injured thumb on his passing hand, another significant blow to a Bengals team that has fallen apart in the past month.
Dalton reached for a fumbled ball and had someone land on his right hand during a 35-20 rout by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Cincinnati’s fifth loss in its past six games.
Just like that, a season that started with so much promise has turned into a nosedive.
Cincinnati (5-6) is without its quarterback or much hope things will get much better down the stretch. The Bengals put Dalton on injured reserve after he had more tests and medical opinions Monday about the best way to get the thumb healed.
It’s the same thumb Dalton broke while making a tackle on an interception return against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. He missed the last three regular-season games and an 18-16 loss to the Steelers in a first-round playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium.
Jeff Driskel will start for the Bengals the rest of the way, getting his first chance to lead the team in his third NFL season. The Bengals claimed quarterback Tom Savage (Pitt) off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers as a backup Monday.
“The more you get out there and the more you play well, the more confidence you are going to get in yourself and the people around you,” Driskel said Monday.
Dalton completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,566 yards with 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a passer rating of 89.6, the third-highest of his eight-year career.