Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton does not need surgery on his broken right thumb, injured Sunday during the loss to Pittsburgh while making a tackle following his interception.
Following Dalton's Monday visit with a specialist, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis called Dalton “week-to-week" and said today's news regarding Dalton's injury is a “best-case scenario.”
Dalton's thumb will remain in a cast, but the team's official web site said "it’s still a murky situation, and it’s uncertain if it heals before the playoffs start. But no surgery seems to indicate a possible manageable timetable if it heals well and quickly."
The team said the news didn’t change offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s Monday agenda. Jackson is "immersed in putting together a game plan for A.J. McCarron against the 49ers," the site said.
Jackson made clear Monday while meeting with local media that McCarron is not merely a game manager.
“We’re not going to turn around and hand it off 70 times,” Jackson said to reporters. “No way. This kid can play.”
There also could be a resulting move to acquire another veteran quarterback. “Stay tuned,” Lewis said.
The team's official site indicated the club would like to back up McCarron with a quarterback who has some game experience.
"Reports had them contacting Ryan Mallett, but he’s supposedly headed to Baltimore," said Bengals.com in-house reporter Geoff Hobson. "Another name in the discussion with the Bengals is also Christian Ponder, Dalton’s 2011 draft classmate."
With Ponder, there is a slight Bengals connection. The former 12th pick of the draft for the Vikings was 14-20 as the starting QB until former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer arrived as head coach in 2014 and drafted Teddy Bridgewater.
Ponder lost his only start in 2014, and was eventually let go by the Vikings. He reappeared last month with Denver when he signed with the Broncos as Brock Osweiler’s backup while Peyton Manning is out of action with plantar fascia. But the Broncos let him go after two weeks and failure to see the field.