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Bengals place Andy Dalton (thumb) on injured reserve

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The Cincinnati Bengals already faced a tough road to make the postseason with five games remaining in the regular season.

Now, the path becomes harder without starting quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Bengals announced Monday that Dalton was placed on injured reserve, a day after the signal-caller suffered a right thumb injury in Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Browns.

While the team did not disclose specifics of the injury, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Dalton suffered torn ligaments in the thumb and it is unclear at this time if surgery is required.

The Bengals are now likely to lean on Jeff Driskel, who replaced Dalton against the Browns, in a starting role with Tom Savage, who the Bengals claimed off waivers from the 49ers, as Driskel's backup. The team also has Connor Cook on the practice squad.

Cincinnati currently sits in third place in the AFC North, and closes out the season against the Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Browns and Steelers.

Dalton has two non-guaranteed years remaining on the six-year extension he signed in 2014. He's due $16.2 million in 2019 and $17.7 million in 2020 (plus possible escalators), per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. He finished the 2018 season completing 226 of 365 passes for 2,566 yards and 21 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.

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