There is hope Dalton can return for the playoffs, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, but will depend on how quickly he heals. Dalton believes a Week 17 return is possible, but bones are tricky to guesstimate how they will mend.
With Dalton's timetable up in the air, second-year pro AJ McCarron will make his first career start. The 25-year-old fifth-round draft pick put up 280 yards with two touchdowns and two costly picks in relief of Dalton on Sunday.
Dalton's injury puts a damper on his best pro season, which had the Bengals believing they could bury their playoff winless streak. The healing process has to go right for Dalton to get a shot at the postseason, but Monday's news offers a flicker of hope he could see the field in January.