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Bengals’ injury woes persist vs. Browns as Andy Dalton is lost for season

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The Bengals came into the game already banged up, and it only got worse on Sunday. Much worse.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals had a laundry list of injuries coming into Sunday as they would be without key starters A.J. Green, Cordy Glenn and Dre Kirkpatrick against the Browns. Unfortunately, things got much worse as the team also lost a few more players during the game, including starting quarterback Andy Dalton. He was placed on IR on Monday and is done for the year.

Jake Fisher, offensive tackle (back)

Fisher was replacing the injured Glenn at left tackle already, so his injury was a huge issue as he was replaced by Cedric Ogbuehi. The Bengals have to hope that Fisher or Glenn aren’t out long term as the team is getting incredibly thin at the position. Then again we could see left guard Clint Boling slide out to left tackle like he did late last season.

Andy Dalton, quarterback (thumb)

Dalton was lost early in the second half, as he chased down a high snap from Billy Price that he couldn’t recover. A Browns defender rolled over top of him, and Dalton ran to the sideline clutching his hand. He injured the same thumb in 2015 against the Steelers at almost the exact same part of the field. Dalton was replaced by Jeff Driskel who played pretty well considering he came in as a backup, but you have to wonder how much of that was due to the Browns defense playing in garbage time. Driskel will now take over as the starting quarterback and he’ll be backed up by Tom Savage, who the Bengals claimed off waivers on Monday.

Tony McRae, cornerback (concussion)

The good news for McRae’s injury is it looked worse than a concussion at first, which really says something. He was knocked out while covering a punt. Initially it looked like he may have suffered a serious neck injury as he didn’t appear to have too much movement in his limbs. They even brought out a backboard and stretcher. Thankfully, McRae appears to be okay in the long-term and said he was “fine” as of Monday afternoon. Marvin Lewis also confirmed he was at the team facilities on Monday and he’ll be in the concussion protocol this week.

Inactives with prior injuries

  • WR A.J. Green
  • CB Dre Kirkpatrick
  • LB Nick Vigil
  • WR Josh Malone
  • OL Cordy Glenn

The biggest name still remains to be Green. The offense just doesn’t look the same without him, and there is no arguing that they are just a better team with him out there. Tyler Boyd had a pretty good game without him, but you’d think both could’ve had a great game against the Browns secondary when playing together. Maybe they’ll have a chance to do that later this year, though it will be with Driskel at quarterback.

The defense was missing Kirkpatrick and Vigil, but the entire unit looks to be missing even when they’re on the field. Cincinnati just needs to get healthy on the defensive side in the worst way. Too many key players are out right now, but you have to think that even with some of them returning, things aren’t going to get much better this season.