The Cincinnati Bengals' loss on Monday Night Football in Denver proved to be very costly.
Not only did the Broncos pass them in the AFC playoff standings for the No. 2 seed a first-round bye, but the Bengals may have lost yet another quarterback in the process. On the game's final play AJ McCarron mishandled a shotgun snap as the ball went through his hands and hit the ground about three yards behind him.
McCarron dove at the ball to try and recover it, but not before Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who recovered the ball, giving Denver the win. After the game, McCarron revealed he injured his non-throwing wrist on the play and wasn't sure how bad it was. As it turns out, the injury wasn't bad enough to end McCarron's season, as Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports:
Source: #Bengals QB AJ McCarron suffered a sprained wrist. No fracture. Still a chance he plays Sunday. So, good news after his MRI— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2015
Bengals QB AJ McCarron's MRI revealed a strain in his left wrist. Should be fine to play this week.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 29, 2015
Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson says the injury, "doesn't sound major".
Hearing that McCarron is day to day, so it doesn't sound major— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) December 29, 2015
It looks like we may very well see McCarron suit up this week and in the playoffs. Though, any loss of practice time for the young quarterback is not ideal as he just finished just his second NFL start.
Here's a video of the final play of the game, which resulted in the wrist injury for McCarron:
It doesn't look like McCarron seriously injured the wrist from just that, but then again, Andy Dalton didn't appear to do much when he fractured his thumb trying to tackle Stephon Tuitt three weeks ago. Now, he's out for at least another week and may not be back in time for the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
As it stands, the Bengals are facing a very interesting quandary this week. Do they go with McCarron is he's even questionable to play, or do they roll with third-stringer Keith Wenning who was just activated from the practice squad two weeks ago.
Adding to that, this is a good-ole-fashioned AFC North rivalry game that Baltimore badly will want to win knowing that it could hurt the Bengals in the playoff standings. Then again, the only shot the Bengals really have at getting that No. 2 seed in the AFC is if Denver loses at home to the 4-11 San Diego Chargers. It's not realistic to think that will happen, so maybe the Bengals play it safe and go with Wenning this week.
Either way, knowing that McCarron could potentially play this week is a huge plus for a team that cannot afford another loss at the quarterback position. We wish him a speedy recovery this week and hope to see him on the field at home on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST for the Bengals' final game of the regular season.