If the Cincinnati Bengals earn a first-round bye in the postseason, Andy Dalton stands a good chance of returning for the team’s Divisional Round game.

Appearing on Monday’s edition of NFL Total Access, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Dalton is still a few weeks away from returning to game action.

The Bengals are doing everything they can to speed up the healing process in Dalton’s fractured thumb, per Rapoport, but the bone isn’t healed through yet.

The bottom line is that Cincinnati’s starting quarterback is out for Week 17 and highly unlikely for the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The earliest expectation for a return is the Divisional Round, though that is not guaranteed.

The Bengals can increase the likelihood of ending their postseason victory drought by knocking off the Denver Broncos on Monday night, thus ensuring an extra week for Dalton’s thumb to cooperate in the playoffs.

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