Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton went to the doctor's Monday, but head coach Marvin Lewis isn't going to get a second opinion from the media.
On Friday, Dalton expressed hope that the cast for his fractured throwing thumb would come off Monday and maybe put him in play for Saturday night's Wild Card Game (8:15-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium.
At his Monday availability, Lewis shut down all questions about Dalton and would only say that Andy Dalton is the starting quarterback as they begin prep "early in the week." He wouldn't rule Dalton in or out.
RECORD RUN: The Bengals' bid to lead the NFL in scoring defense came up two points and one man short in Sunday's season finale at Paul Brown Stadium.
Leading the Ravens, 24-9, with less than two minutes left, the Bengals were trying to hold a team out of the end zone for the third time this season at PBS on first down from the Bengals 2. But with 1:49 left, Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett found wide-open fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a two-yard TD pass.
It was only the third TD pass the Bengals have allowed in six games and only the sixth TD pass allowed at PBS this year. And with good reason. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Monday the guy who was supposed to cover the fullback on that play that the Bengals practiced against was hurt and they had only 10 men on the field.
SAM backer Emmanuel Lamur, lost for the year with a knee injury blocking on a kickoff return in the second quarter, was in on the goal-line defense. But since the Ravens were in hurry-up mode there wasn't time to get it sorted out.
Seattle ended up allowing just 277 points to the Bengals' 279. But Guenther will take the Bengals' club record for fewest points in a 16-game season.
"Anytime you do something the franchise has never done, it's a big accomplishment. The players were coming up to me after the game," Guenther said. "We knew whatever the point total was we had to hold them to (20) . . . I always tell them it's a player's game. They earned it. It's a huge accomplishment.
"How many years has the franchise been around? 48? That's pretty damn good. You can twist it however you want it. Yards. Third downs. Rushing yards. Passing yards. All that stuff. The most important thing for a defense is to keep them off the scoreboard. A Number One."
On Monday Lamur became just the second regular to go on season-ending injured, joining cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Which means undrafted rookie linebacker Trevor Roach's first NFL game is going to be Saturday night's Wild Card Game. The 6-2, 237-pound Roach, out of Nebraska, has spent the season on the practice squad after playing in the four pre-season games with 12 tackles, fifth on the team.
HALL OK: When slot cornerback Leon Hall's back balked in Sunday's second half, Guenther said they took him out for precautionary reasons and said he'll be fine for Saturday. Guenther praised the play of veteran cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, playing his most ever from scrimmage in his 19th game with the club, taking 29 snaps in Hall's absence with rookie Josh Shaw limited to 19 special teams snaps.
TEXT-BOOK: Guenther was former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's aide de camp and former offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's frequent dinner partner at Carlo and Johnny, so he's been texting some warm thoughts lately.
"We win a division. Zimmer wins a division and Gruden wins a division. It's a hell of a deal," Guenther said. "I was kind of hoping those guys would play each other in the first round. I'm sure I'll get a lot of phone calls that day."
Guenther plans to rib Zimmer about the 279. Zimmer's best here was 291 in 2009.
"I'll call him later today, probably," Guenther said. "He's got Seattle, we've got Pittsburgh. Let's go."
Cincinnati Bengals host the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in week 17 of the regular season.