UPDATE (6:45 p.m. ET): Bad news for the Cincinnati Bengals. Andy Dalton told reporters after Sunday’s game he has a fractured thumb, and the “feeling in the locker room” is that the quarterback will miss the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Bob Holtzman.
ORIGINAL STORY: Andy Dalton’s Sunday ended early after the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback suffered a thumb injury.
Dalton threw a red-zone interception to Stephon Tuitt with five minutes remaining in the first quarter and injured himself when he tried to tackle the 6-foot-6, 303-pound Steelers defensive end.
Dalton was ruled out for the rest of the game and was in a cast by the second quarter. A.J. McCarron took over under center.
The Bengals also lost tight end Tyler Eifert, who had an NFL-leading 12 receiving touchdowns entering Sunday, to a concussion. Eifert was doubtful to return, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The injuries are unfortunate for the Bengals, but they also make the AFC playoff race that much more interesting. Cincinnati currently is the No. 1 seed in the conference at 10-2, but the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots had the same record going into Sunday’s games. The Bengals also have to play the Broncos in Week 16.