Andy Dalton hopes to get some good news on Monday.
"I'm hoping so. But again, it's wait and see," he said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "(The doctor has) got to check it out and make sure he feels that would be a good thing. But I tell you what, I'm ready to get out of the cast."
Dalton broke the thumb on his throwing hand 23 days ago. The quarterback, who was enjoying a career season prior to the injury, wouldn't rule himself out of playing in the playoffs.
"I'm thinking as soon as I can get back, I'll be back," Dalton said. "Whatever week that is, whatever time that is. I'm hoping it's sooner than later. I'll find out more on Monday."
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week that the Bengals don't anticipate Dalton being ready before the AFC Divisional round. Even if he gets the cast off on Monday, Dalton will need time to rehab the thumb and get back into the football flow.
The Bengals could earn a first-round bye if they beat the Ravens and the Broncos slip up against the Chargers on Sunday. If that scenario doesn't unfold, we will likely see AJ McCarron under center during Wild Card weekend. The second-year signal-caller has played well. If he leads Cincy to their first playoff win in decades, Marvin Lewis could have a difficult choice of sticking with the young quarterback or going back to Dalton if he's cleared.
First Dalton needs to get that cast off.