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Injury Update: Dalton to start in place of Fields

Bears QB Justin Fields

With rookie quarterback Justin Fields still on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Bears coach Matt Nagy announced Friday that Andy Dalton will start Sunday's season finale in Minnesota, with Nick Foles serving as the backup.

The Bears were planning to start Fields against the Vikings. After missing two games with an ankle injury, the first-round pick had returned to practice Wednesday without limitations. But he was placed on the COVID list Thursday.

"You can't predict any of these COVID situations," Nagy said. "It's what we're all dealing with right now, everywhere. Finding out when we did with Justin, it's a part of this deal. Justin was super eager to get out [and play]. He had a great day of practice, and this is a part of how it goes. So, we've just got to be able to react to it, and that's why we feel good about having Andy and Nick here."

There's a slim chance that Fields could be removed from the COVID list before kickoff Sunday—if he's asymptomatic and receives multiple negative test results. But even if that's the case, it's unlikely the rookie would play against the Vikings after missing practice Thursday and Friday.

"We've discussed that," Nagy said. "I think the odds of that happening, I don't know where that stands. We would discuss where that's at and how that would go. But right now, the big thing is getting the practice reps. I think that's the biggest thing the last two days; not having them would probably prevent that from happening."

It appears that Fields' rookie season will end with him having played in 12 games with 10 starts and completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 73.2 passer rating. He also rushed for 420 yards and two TDs on 72 carries, was sacked 36 times and lost four of 12 fumbles.

It seemed as if Fields was ready to ascend after passing for a career-high 291 yards Nov. 8 in a Monday Night Football game in Pittsburgh. He helped the Bears erase a 20-6 fourth-quarter deficit and take a 27-26 lead with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney with just 1:46 remaining. But the Steelers rallied for a 29-27 victory.

In the Bears' next game against the Ravens, Fields sustained cracked ribs that forced him to miss the following two contests. He returned versus the Packers, but then sustained an ankle injury a week later against the Vikings that sidelined him again.

The injuries and COVID have prevented Fields from having more opportunities to grow.

"When you go back to that night in Pittsburgh," Nagy said, "I'll always remember that being a moment right then and there for a long time of like, 'I told you,' where he just kind of looked at me and just smiled like, 'Get ready to watch what's going to happen.' And then for that to happen, I do feel like that was growth up until that point and we're taking off. And then you end up having some injuries, and now recently here with COVID.

"The good thing for Justin is that he has developed. He's gotten better. He's improved. He knows that he can improve and is going to continue to keep improving. But that's just how it goes. It would have been interesting to keep it consistent, but that's not the way it went, and fortunately we have Andy and Nick there to protect us in this situation."

In other injury news Friday, the Bears ruled defensive tackle Akiem Hicks out of Sunday's season finale with an ankle injury that prevented him from practicing this week. He's been dealing with the injury since sustaining it against the Steelers.

After missing four games, Hicks returned with a vengeance Dec. 20 versus the Vikings, registering five tackles, 2.0 sacks, two tackles-for-loss and four quarterback hits. He sat out the following week versus the Packers while on the COVID-19 list and then came back to play in last Sunday's win over the Giants.

Hicks, who is in the final year of his contract, originally signed with the Bears in 2016 after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Saints (2012-15) and Patriots (2015). He has since started all 77 games he's played over six years, registering 247 tackles, 51 tackles-for-loss and 31.0 sacks.

"He did a lot of good things as far as affecting different offenses," Nagy said. "He creates a lot of double teams, and I thought he did a good job of doing that his whole career here."

Chicago Bears
Table - Injury report
PlayerInjuryGame status

Three-time Pro Bowler (2013, 2014, 2022); has appeared in 158 NFL games (135 starts), tallying 101.0 sacks, 107 tackles-for-loss, 188 QBHs and 31 forced fumbles
2013 PWFA Defensive Player of the Year when he finished second in the NFL with a then Rams franchise-record 19.0 sacks while recording 11 tackles-for-loss, 34 pressures and seven forced fumbles
Originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick (14th overall) by the St. Louis Rams out of the University of North Carolina in the 2011 NFL Draft
Has been ranked among the NFL’s Top 100 players twice (2014, 2015)
During the 2021 season, Quinn was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month in November after registering 5.5 sacks, 14 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles across three contests. Quinn also recorded a career-high 3.5 sacks during the Bears Nov. 21 matchup vs. the Ravens
Surpassed 100 career sacks in the Bears Week 17 win vs. the Giants, making him the sixth active player in the NFL to record 100 career sacks
Quinn also became the Bears all-time single-season sack leader after logging his 18th sack of the 2021 season in the fourth quarter vs. NY


2021: Pro Bowl Selection, Jeff Dickerson Media Good Guy Award Recipient, NFC Defensive Player of the Month (November), PFWA All-NFC Team, Bears' MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, AP All-Pro (second team)*
2014:* Pro Bowl Selection*
2013:* Pro Bowl Selection, PWFA Defensive Player of the Year

2021 SEASON (Bears):

Started and played in all but one game
2022 Pro Bowl selection and named to the PFWA All-NFC Team and AP All-Pro (second team)
Became the Bears all-time single-season sacks leader with 18.5 on the season and finished first in the NFC and second in the NFL, trailing only T.J. Watt's 22.5 sacks
His 17 TFL's on the season tied him for sixth in the league
Named NFC Defensive Player of the Month in November after registering 5.5 sacks, 14 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles across three contests; his 5.5 sacks include his career-high 3.5 sack performance vs. the Ravens on Nov. 21
In the Week 2 win vs. the Bengals he led the team in sacks with 2.0, one of which he dropped QB Joe Burrow for eight yards
Recorded 1.5 sacks and two QBH in Week 3 at the Browns
He also logged a season-high five solo tackles, 1.0 sack, one TFL, two QBH, and one FF in the Week 4 victory over the Lions
Recorded three solo tackles in the Week 5 victory at the Raiders
Registered four tackles, including two TFL, and 1.0 sack on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, dropping him seven yards in Week 6
Dropped Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger five yards in the first quarter in Week 9
Led Chicago's defense in Week 11 vs. the Ravens with a career-high 3.5 sacks; this marked the sixth game of his career with 3.0+ sacks; he also recorded five tackles and four QBHs and one FF
Recorded his 11th sack of the season, dropping Lions quarterback Jared Goff for a loss of eight yards in the Week 12
Logged two TFL for minus-9 yards Week 13 vs. the Cardinals
Got to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice during the Week 14 contest, dropping him for minus-20 yards
Sacked an opposing quarterback for the sixth consecutive game in Week 15 vs. the Vikings, dropping QB Kirk Cousins for a loss of seven yards with 14:14 to go in the second quarter and once more with 1:21 to go in the half
Quinn also recorded a TFL, a QBH and a FF during the Week 15 contest
Logged two QBH and sacked Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, dropping him for a loss of 13 yards in the Week 16 win at Seattle
Surpassed the Bears all-time single-season sack record after recording his 18th sack this season Week 17 vs. the Giants and surpassed 100 career sacks
Quinn's Week 18 sack on Vikings QB Kirk Cousins marked his ninth consecutive game where he has sacked an opposing quarterback

2020 SEASON (Bears)

Played in all 16 games with 13 starts; inactive for Week 1; received his first start of the season in Week 4 vs. the Colts
Saw his first action in Week 2 vs. the NYG, recording a strip-sack on Daniel Jones on his first play; also added three total tackles and an additional forced fumble
Recorded a strip-sack on Kirk Cousins in the Week 15 win at Minnesota
Recovered a fumble in the Week 5 win vs. Tampa Bay
Season-high four tackles in Week 12 at Green Bay; had two tackles and two QBH in the re-match with the Packers in Week 17
Forced a fumble that led to an Eddie Jackson scoop-and-score touchdown in Week 7 at the Rams

2019 SEASON (Cowboys):

Started 14 games for the Cowboys and wrapped up 11.5 sacks (for minus-86 yards) while adding a team-high 22 QBH and 13 TFL
Recorded his fourth season with double-digit sacks and his highest sack total since the 2013 campaign when he tallied a career-high 19.0
Recorded a team-high 22 QBH and 13 TFL
Recorded 2.0 sacks at New Orleans and again at the Jets
Generated pressure on 14.0 percent of pass rushes last season, second highest in the NFL behind Green Bay’s Za’Darius Smith (14.6 percent), according to Next Gen Stats

2018 SEASON (Dolphins):

In his lone season with the Dolphins, started all 16 games for the third time in his career and the first since 2014; tallied 38 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 15 pressures, four tackles-for-loss and two forced fumbles
Made his Dolphins debut against Tennessee with four tackles
Logged his first sack of the season at the N.Y. Jets
Had a season-high 1.5 sacks at Green Bay before posting four straight games with a sack Weeks 13-16

2017 SEASON (Los Angeles Rams):

In his final season with the Rams, notched 34 tackles, 8.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, 12 hurries, one breakup and two forced fumbles, starting 14 of the 15 games he played
Had a sack in the opener against Indianapolis
Notched a season-high five tackles along with a sack against New Orleans to start a streak of four games with at least one sack
Notched 2.0 sacks in games at Arizona and at Seattle
Made his post season debut in the Rams Wild Card game against Atlanta and logged three tackles, a sack, one tackle for loss and a pressure

2016 SEASON (Los Angeles Rams):

Was limited to starts in eight-of-nine games played after suffering a shoulder injury mid-season and a concussion near the end of the season
Tallied 10 tackles, 4.0 sacks, six hurries, two breakups and two forced fumbles
Had sacks in back-to-back games twice - Weeks 2-3 and 11-12
Missed the final five games with a concussion

2015 SEASON (St. Louis Rams):

Had 5.0 sacks, 21 tackles, seven hurries, three breakups, two tackles for loss and three forced fumbles in eight games (seven starts) before landing on Reserve/Injured (back) for the final three games of the season
Missed the final eight games with a combination of hip and back injuries
Opened the season with a pair of sacks against Seattle and logged sacks in games against Pittsburgh, at Green Bay and against San Francisco

2014 SEASON (St. Louis Rams):

Started all 16 games for the second consecutive season and notched 46 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 20 pressures, seven tackles for losses, six breakups and five forced fumbles
Opened the season with a tackle behind the line of scrimmage in five straight games
Had three straight weeks with six tackles (Weeks 6-8) and four straight games with at least one sack (Weeks 7-10), including a two-sack game at Kansas City
Had a season-high 3.0 sacks against Oakland, followed by 1.5 at Washington

2013 SEASON (St. Louis Rams):

Started all 16 games for the first time in his career and tallied 57 tackles, career-bests with 19.0 sacks - second in the league and a franchise record - 11 tackles for loss and 34 pressures
Tied his single-game high with 3.0 sacks in the opener against Arizona
Added another sack against San Francisco before notching 5.0 sacks in three games, including a three-sack day against Seattle; also had a career-best five pressures against the Seahawks
Had back-to-back games with sacks with 2.0 at Indianapolis and one against Chicago before closing the season out with sacks in the final three games - 2.0 against New Orleans, 3.0 against Tampa Bay and one at Seattle

2012 SEASON (St. Louis Rams):

In his second NFL season, played in all 16 games with 14 starts and notched 10.5 sacks and was second on the defense with 25 pressures along with 40 tackles
Teamed with Chris Long to become the first Rams defenders to record double-digit sack numbers since 2000
Had a single-game best with 3.0 sacks against Arizona
Notched his second career multi-sack game, finishing with 1.5 at San Francisco

2011 SEASON (St. Louis Rams):

Drafted in the first round (14th overall) by St. Louis and finished with 20 tackles and 5.0 sacks
Made his NFL debut at the N.Y. Giants and had his first career sack
Had sacks in consecutive games two times
Made his first NFL start - against Cincinnati and logged his third blocked punt of the season


2021: AP All-Pro (second team), Pro Bowl, NFC Defensive Player of the Month (November)
2014: Pro Bowl
2013: Pro Bowl
Robert Quinn

Finished his second season with the Bears in 2020 after playing in nine games as a rookie in 2019
Has played in 31 career games with nine starts over three seasons
Has 50 tackles (37 solo) and four pass breakups to his name

2021 SEASON (Bears):

Played in seven of the 11 games he was active in
Recorded 35 tackles (28 solo) and four PDs on the season
Recorded six tackles (five solo) in the Bears home-opener win vs. the Bengals
Logged six tackles in Week 3 at the Browns
Recorded five tackles and one PD in the Week 4 win over the Lions
Notched five solo tackles, two special teams tackles and one PD Week 9 at the Steelers
Logged four tackles (three solo) in the Week 16 win at Seattle

2020 SEASON (Bears):

Played in 11 games in 2020 with two starts; inactive for Weeks 1-3, 6-8; made starts in Week 15 at the Vikings and Week 17 vs. the Packers
Made his first appearance of the season on special teams in Week 4 vs. the Colts
Recorded one special teams tackle in Week 9 at the Titans
Saw significant time on defense in Week 14 vs. the Texans, filling in for the injured Buster Skrine; recorded three total tackles and one PD
Made his first career start in Week 15 win at the Vikings, recording a career-high seven tackles
Saw action on defense in the Wild Card playoff game at the Saints, recording one tackle and one PD

2019 SEASON (Bears):

Appeared in nine games as a reserve in his rookie season
Inactive for Weeks 5-12
Duke Shelley

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