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Andy Dalton (thumb fracture) won't play next week

Andy Dalton's dream 2015 season has hit a huge road block.

Dalton was knocked out of Sunday's 33-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter after suffering a thumb fracture. He said he will see a specialist Monday and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said his quarterback will miss next week's game against the 49ers. Dalton said he'll have a better idea as to what the timetable for his return will be after he visits with the specialist.

Dalton said he suffered the injury while attempting to make a tackle during the first quarter. Bengals backup AJ McCarron played the rest of the game for the Bengals, who were trailing 7-0 at the time of Dalton's injury.

He was seen on the sideline in the second quarter in a cast. Dalton has played like a top-tier quarterback all season, throwing 25 touchdown passes and six interceptions on the way to a 10-2 record. The bad news didn't end there for the Bengals; tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a concussion in the loss as well.

The Bengals are in great shape to make the playoffs regardless of what happens the rest of the way, but the team's quest for a playoff bye has gotten more complicated.

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