Just before the end of the first half, the Bengals had the ball on the Browns 47-yard line in a third-and-four situation. Dalton had looked pretty solid in the first half, even throwing his first career touchdown pass. The offense had been stopped the last couple of drives and the Browns had taken the lead, but Dalton and company were still moving the ball and there was no reason to believe that things were going to get out of hand.
This would be Dalton's last play of the game, though.
The Bengals were lined up in a shotgun formation with three wide receivers wide. A.J. Green was wide right and Jerome Simpson and Jordan Shipley were wide left, with Shipley in the slot. Jermaine Gresham was in the three-point stance on the right side of the line. In the backfield, to the right of Dalton was Brian Leonard.
The Browns were lined up with Jayme Mitchell, Phillip Taylor, Ahtyba Rudin and Jabaal Sheard on the defensive line from left to right. The linebackers and safeties were showing blitz. D'Qwell Jackson was lined up just behind Taylor and Scott Fujita was lined up behind Rubin. T.J. Ward was lined up just outside Mitchell. Joe Haden was over Green and Sheldon Brown was over Simpson leaving Mike Adams to guard Shipley.
The ball was snapped to Dalton and the Browns brought the heat. Jackson came in right between the two tackles, where center Kyle Cook picked him up, leaving rookie guard Clint Boling to deal with Taylor by himself. Fujita came on a delayed blitz but the play was over by the time he got the line.
Shipley and Simpson crossed on the left side, Simpson going inside and Shipley fading towards the left sideline. Both were covered well. Gresham chipped the defensive end and then ran straight for the right sideline, where Ward followed. Leonard stayed in the backfield to help block.
Green ran a quick slant and beat Haden, getting the inside position almost immediately out of his cut. Green saw this and threw a pass but was forced to hurry because by the time he saw Green because Taylor was bursting through the offensive line between Cook and Boling and coming straight for him. Leonard was on the outside of Boling and was in no position to help. The pass was floated high and Green jumped and barely got the tips of his fingers on the ball and the pass fell incomplete.
As soon as Dalton released the ball he was hit. His throwing hand was pinned between Taylors facemask and Dalton's own shoulder pads. Taylor fell down on top of Dalton hard with Dalton's hand still pinned the same way. The rookie quarterback got up immediately holding his arm up to his chest and came running off the field with the rest of the offense as the punt team got ready to kick the ball to Cleveland. Dalton would attempt to throw some passes on the sideline early in the third quarter but never came back into the game.
Hopefully he's back on Sunday when the Bengals take on the Broncos.