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Dalton hurts thumb as Bengals’ spiral continues

November 26, 2018

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, right, fails to recover a fumble in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

A season that started with promise for the Cincinnati Bengals continued its spiral when quarterback Andy Dalton injured his right thumb in a 35-20 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Dalton was hurt on his passing hand while trying to recover a shotgun snap that sailed over his head in the third quarter and didn’t return. After the injury, Baker Mayfield threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game to give the Browns a 35-7 lead.

The Bengals started the season 4-1, but are 1-5 since and have lost their past three games. Backup Jeff Driskel will start next Sunday against the Broncos if Dalton can’t play.

“I know personally what I’ve known all along, and that’s that I can play at this level and give our team a chance to win,” Driskel said.

Two other players were hurt for Cincinnati: backup right tackle Jake Fisher, who suffered a back injury, and cornerback Tony McRae, who gave two thumbs up as he was wheeled off the field after a third-quarter concussion.

The Chargers’ high-powered offense suffered a possible setback when running back Melvin Gordon left with a knee injury in the third quarter of Los Angeles’ blowout victory over Arizona. Gordon came into the game sixth in the league in rushing. Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes suffered a thumb injury during the second quarter.

For the Carolina Panthers, a quadriceps injury to cornerback David Jackson on the first play from scrimmage ended up playing a role in the Seattle Seahawks’ comeback win. Jackson did not return, and Russell Wilson exploited the Panthers’ secondary on a game-tying touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.

Carolina punt returner Damiere Byrd left with an arm injury in the first half and did not return. For Seattle, fullback Tre Madden left in the second half with a shoulder injury.

The Ravens lost safety Tony Jefferson to an ankle injury in their victory over the Raiders. Oakland defensive tackle Maurice Hurst left in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury, and defensive end Jacquies Smith left in the first half after hurting an Achilles.

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram injured his hamstring in warmups and didn’t play against the Eagles, and wide receiver Quadree Henderson left the loss to Philadelphia with a shoulder injury.

Buccaneers offensive tackle Demar Dotson left in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers with knee and hamstring injuries and did not return. Tampa Bay also lost cornerback Carlton Davis II to a knee injury in the third quarter. For San Francisco, safety Jimmie Ward suffered a broken forearm in the first quarter and safety D.J. Reed departed in the second half with a heel injury.

Cornerback Lafayette Pitts sustained a head injury while covering a punt in the first quarter for the Buffalo Bills in their win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags lost left guard Andrew Norwell when he hurt an ankle in the fourth quarter.

Broncos cornerback Tramaine Brock hurt his ribs tackling Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third quarter of Denver’s victory. In the fourth quarter, tight end Jeff Heuerman left with a back injury and linebacker Shaq Barrett departed with a hip injury.

The Miami Dolphins lost receiver Danny Amendola to a right knee injury and center Travis Swanson to an ankle injury in the first quarter of their loss to the Colts. Indianapolis running back Marlon Mack entered the concussion protocol in the fourth quarter.

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