Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was placed on injured reserve with a right thumb injury suffered in Sunday's loss to the Browns.
Jeff Driskel will make his first NFL start against the Broncos this week in Dalton's place, and the team has claimed quarterback Tom Savage off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers to back up Driskel.
Dalton was injured on the fourth play of the third quarter after a snap by center Billy Price sailed over his head. Dalton ran back to recover the ball and attempted to pick it up, but the Browns recovered it. Dalton immediately went to the sideline and into the locker room with athletic trainers and did not return.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said on Sunday night that the initial scans did not show anything serious enough for Dalton to miss the rest of the season, however, his year is now done.
Dalton has not missed a game since the 2015 season when he attempted to make a tackle after throwing an interception against the Steelers and broke his right thumb. Although Dalton avoided surgery, he did not return that season, missing the final three regular-season games and the AFC wild-card game. AJ McCarron, who is now with the Raiders, replaced him.
"I've always known that I could play at this level," Driskel said. "I wouldn't be here if I couldn't. But the more you get out there and the more that you play well, the more confidence you're going to have in yourself and the people around are going to have in you. Just got to keep doing what I'm doing and continue to play well and give the team a chance to win."
The Bengals roster has been decimated by injuries this season. Not only did tight end Tyler Eifert, linebacker Preston Brown, defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow and defensive end Carl Lawson end up on IR, but linebacker Nick Vigil and A.J. Green have both missed extended time. Left tackle Cordy Glenn and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick are also currently injured and not able to play.
The Bengals started 4-1 and had a 73 percent chance of making the playoffs after Week 5 per FPI. Since then they are 1-5 and have seen their FPI playoff chances dip to 4 percent.