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Injury Update: Dalton to start in place of injured Fields


With No. 1 quarterback Justin Fields still recovering from an ankle injury, Bears coach Matt Nagy announced Friday that veteran Andy Dalton will start Sunday's home finale against the Giants.

Fields and Dalton were both inactive for last weekend's game in Seattle. But Dalton has since recovered from the groin injury that sidelined him, enabling him to practice without limitations all week.

Fields was limited in Friday's workout for the third straight day, and although he's listed as questionable on the injury report, Nagy said that third-stringer Nick Foles will serve as Dalton's backup Sunday.

"Justin is continuing to improve every day, but as I've said from the start, we want to make sure that we're always putting him and these players in the best position possible," Nagy said. "So he's working toward that. If he's going to be up, then we'd want him to be the starter. That's why we're making that decision, and the guys have been great about it.

"We had a good day out there today with Andy going in the red zone, and we'll roll with that. We'll continue to get Justin going and do everything that he can to get ready for next week, and of course his health is going to be the No. 1 concern as we do that."

In his first season with the Bears, Dalton has appeared in six games with four starts, completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,017 yards with six touchdowns, six interceptions and a 79.9 passer rating.

Dalton signed a one-year contract with the Bears in March after spending his first 10 NFL seasons with the Bengals (2011-19) and Cowboys (2020).

He started the first two games of the season before sustaining a knee injury in a Week 2 win over Cincinnati. Dalton's next extended action came Nov. 21 against the Ravens after Fields exited with a knee injury. Dalton started the next two contests, including a Thanksgiving win over the Lions in which he passed for 317 yards, the most by a Bears quarterback this season.

Fields has not played since hurting his ankle Dec. 20 against the Vikings. He sustained the injury in the second quarter but finished the game. This season, the rookie has connected on 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 73.2 passer rating. He's also rushed for 420 yards and two TDs on 72 carries.

Foles, meanwhile, saw his first action of the season last Sunday in Seattle, leading the Bears to a thrilling 25-24 comeback win. The 10-year NFL veteran threw for 250 yards and posted a 98.5 passer rating. Trailing 24-17, Foles connected with Jimmy Graham for a 15-yard touchdown and Damiere Byrd for the game-winning two-point conversion with 1:01 remaining.

In other injury news, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, left tackle Jason Peters and nickel back Duke Shelley are all listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

Hicks returned to practice Friday on a limited basis after being removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Goldman was a full participant in practice all week despite a finger injury. Peters worked out without restrictions Friday after being limited Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle injury that has forced him to miss the last two games. Shelley sat out Wednesday, was a full participant Thursday and was limited Friday with a heel injury.

Tight end J.P. Holtz did not practice this week and is doubtful for Sunday's game due to an undisclosed personal issue.

Chicago Bears
Table - Injury report
PlayerInjuryGame status

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

Selected by the Bears with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft; the Bears acquired the 11th overall selection after completing a trade with the New York Giants
Fields is just the third Ohio State quarterback in the common draft era to be selected in the first round of an NFL draft, joining Art Schlichter (No. 4 overall pick in 1982) and Dwayne Haskins (No. 15 overall pick in 2019)
Fields is the 31st Buckeye to be selected by the Bears and the first since Marcus Freeman in 2009
Recorded 103 rushing yards vs. the 49ers in Week 8, making him the second quarterback in Bears history to surpass the century mark in rushing, dating back to at least 1960 (Bobby Douglass, three times)

2021 SEASON (Bears):

Made 12 appearances with 10 starts, throwing for 1,870 yards and seven TDs
Rushed for 420 yards and two TDs
Rushed for his first NFL touchdown in the third quarter of Week 1 at the Rams. In doing so he became the first Bears rookie quarterback to rush for a touchdown in his first career game since Johnny Lujack, who rushed for a TD against Green Bay in Week 2 of 1948
Recorded 31 rushing yards and 60 passing yards in the Bears home season-opening victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, entering the game in relief of starter Andy Dalton who left with an injury
Had his first NFL start in Week 3 vs. the Cleveland Browns
Started and completed 11 of 17 passes (64.7%) for 209 yards in the Week 4 win over the Lions; connected on a season-long 64-yard pass to Darnell Mooney
Completed his first-career touchdown pass, a two-yarder to tight end Jesper Horsted with 13:16 to go in the second quarter to put Chicago in front during the Week 5 victory at the Raiders
Registered a season-high 43 rushing yards along with a season-high 16 pass completions vs. the Packers in Week 6; he also recorded his second-career passing touchdown, a five-yard pass to Mooney
Rushed 10 times for a season-high 103 yards in Week 8 vs. SF, becoming the first Bears QB to rush for 100+ yards since Bobby Douglass in 1973. Also completed 19 of 27 passes for 175 yards and a TD, and in doing so he became the third rookie QB (Robert Griffin and Marcus Mariota) with 100+ rush yards, rush TD & pass TD in single game in NFL history
Completed 17-of-29 passes for a season-high 291 passing yards at the Steelers. His seven completions on balls 15+ yards downfield in Pittsburgh are tied for the most by a Bears QB over the past 15 seasons
Fields also averaged 15.6 air yards per attempt in Week 9, which is the second most by any quarterback in a game this season
Recorded 79 passing yards and 23 rushing yards Week 11 vs. the Ravens before exiting the game at the start of the third quarter due to injury
Inactive Weeks 12-13 due to injury
Recorded two passing TDs for the first time this season Week 14 at the Packers. His 54-yard TD pass to WR Damiere Byrd with 3:21 to go in the second quarter marked his longest to date. He also rushed for a team-high 74 yards on the ground
Completed 26 of 39 passes for 285 yards, one touchdown and a rating of 96.6, his highest of the season vs. the Vikings in Week 15. His 285 yards marked his second highest total of season
Inactive Weeks 16-17 due to injury
Inactive Week 18 due to being on Reserve/COVID-19 list
Justin Fields

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