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Bengals QB Jeff Driskel suffers thumb injury vs Colts

The third-string QB is in a tight battle for a roster spot.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Driskel suffered a thumb injury during the Cincinnati Bengals’ preseason finale on Thursday night.

The injury happened in the second quarter on a screen pass. After releasing the ball, Driskel was hit immediately by two Indianapolis Colts defenders, and while falling to the ground, Driskel landed awkwardly on his wrist.

After being examined on the sideline, Driskel was then escorted to the locker room to be further examined. The way the injury looked, expect Driskel to get x-rays done to make sure there wasn’t a break. It didn’t look bad enough for there to be one, but it was enough to knock him out of this game.

With Driskel out, the Bengals are in a bit of a bind. They were going to roll with Driskel for most of the fourth preseason game, but with him out, AJ McCarron now must finish the game.

The Bengals only have three quarterbacks on the roster, which has been the case all year. That’s how much faith they had in Driskel as the third-string quarterback, and he was very much in the running for a roster spot this year.

Now, Driskel’s injury will greatly affect where he goes next, depending on how long he’s out. If he only misses a few games, it probably won’t deter the Bengals from keeping him.

But, if it’s a more extended absence, there’s no use is wasting a roster spot on an injured third-string quarterback. That may actually make it easier for the Bengals to waive Driskel and get him to the practice squad.

It’s also possible this injury is bad enough for the Bengals to put Driskel on season-ending injured reserve. That would keep Driskel tied to the Bengals, even though he won’t count against the 53-man roster.

UPDATE: Driskel has been ruled out by the Bengals. McCarron will need to finish the game at quarterback.

Driskel was seen on the sidelines without a jersey on and with his hand in a cast.

This may be a way to keep Driskel with the organization, but on the Injured Reserve list to start the year. It’s unfortunate for the second-year quarterback who had a solid preseason before the injury.