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Injury Update: Dalton to start again for injured Fields


Justin Fields practiced on a limited basis Friday for the third straight day, but the Bears rookie quarterback is expected to miss his second consecutive game Sunday due to the broken ribs he sustained Nov. 21 against the Ravens.

"Justin's making good progress, [he's] just not there yet medically for the clearance," coach Matt Nagy told reporters.

Andy Dalton will make his second straight start Sunday against the Cardinals at Soldier Field, and fellow veteran Nick Foles will again serve as the backup quarterback if Fields, who is officially listed as doubtful, is sidelined.

In his first start in 10 weeks Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, Dalton completed 24 of 39 passes for 317 yards with one touchdown, one interception and an 85.1 passer rating in a 16-14 win over the Lions.

In his first season with the Bears, Dalton has appeared in five games with three starts, throwing for 788 yards with four TDs, two interceptions and an 89.4 passer rating.

Nagy said that Fields, who remains the team's No. 1 quarterback, is "definitely getting closer" to returning to action. After hosting the Cardinals, the Bears will visit the Packers on Sunday Night Football next weekend.

"I think 'progress' is definitely the good word for him," Nagy said, "being able to get out there in practice and throw the ball around and get used to doing the common stuff that you do.

"No matter what the injury is, there's always going to be some hesitation when it's your ribs, just the simple things of throwing, dropping back, stretching out to hand the ball off. All that stuff, he's improved with that and the pain has gotten better and better."

The Bears will continue to monitor Fields' injury through the weekend and into next week.

"We're obviously not going to go out there and hit him while he's running around in practice and see," Nagy said. "So, it's going to be a constant communication between him, our trainers, myself, just to see how he's feeling and how everything is going.

"We're going to evaluate it next week, and next week should be better. So, now we just need to figure out exactly from him talking to us as to how he feels."

In other injury news Friday, the Bears ruled receiver Marquise Goodwin (foot/ribs), running back Damien Williams (calf), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (ribs) out of Sunday's game. In addition, receiver Allen Robinson II is expected to miss his second straight contest after being unable to practice all week with a hamstring injury he sustained Nov. 8 against the Steelers.

There was some positive injury news for the Bears Friday: Inside linebacker Roquan Smith returned to practice on a limited basis and is questionable to play against the Cardinals. Smith sat out workouts Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury that forced him to exit the Lions game.

Nagy said that Smith's availability is expected to be a game-time decision.

"I think he's getting close is what I would say," Nagy said. "That's why the game-time [decision]: get him out there and see what happens and where he's at. But I feel like he's a guy that's going to do everything he possibly can to be able to get ready to play.

"He understands where we're at. I'll leave it to [head athletic trainer] Andre [Tucker] and to Roquan and they'll let us know as to where he's at and how he's feeling and is it the best thing to do. And if it is, we're rolling. And I know Roquan wants to. And if it's not [possible], he's going to understand that we're not [going to play him]."

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Nagy also revealed Friday that rookie second-round pick Teven Jenkins likely will be activated Saturday and be available to play Sunday.

Jenkins has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the start of the regular season after he underwent back surgery in mid-August. The rookie tackle returned to practice Nov 15, beginning a three-week window to activate him that ends Monday.

If Jenkins is activated Saturday as expected, Nagy said that he would speak with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and offensive line coach Juan Castillo about what role the Oklahoma State product would fill against the Cardinals.

"We'll go over it and try to get a feel moving forward for where he's at, which side and everything like that," Nagy said. "But I think for us just now being able to activate him and get him up is the good part."

Several Bears players and coaches have helped design special footwear for the team's My Cause My Cleats game on December 5th. Take an exclusive look at each person's custom spikes, which have been created to support a charitable organization of their choice.

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