Oct 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) leaves the field after the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

‘This is Justin’s time’: Bears name rookie Fields as starting QB

Rookie Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears — at least for the foreseeable future.

Just two days ago, coach Matt Nagy said Andy Dalton would return to the starting role when he had fully recovered from a knee injury. But Wednesday, Nagy said Dalton was cleared to return to practice but he’d be doing so as No. 2 on the depth chart.

Fields, who won his first NFL game on Sunday in a 24-14 victory over the Detroit Lions, has earned the starting job, Nagy said.

“This is Justin’s time, we’re so confident moving forward,” he said Wednesday.

Fields will start Sunday for the Bears (2-2) when they meet the Raiders (3-1) in Las Vegas.

“What needs to be understood (is) the plan and process we had going into this was important,” Nagy said. “When Andy got hurt with his knee, that sped the plan up. I have always said from the beginning, we’ll know and he’s done everything to show us he’s ready for this opportunity.”

Dalton injured his left knee in the second quarter of a Sept. 19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fields, the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards with one interception against the Lions.

Fields, 22, has completed 48.1 percent of his passes for 347 yards, two picks and no touchdowns this season. He has rushed for 55 yards and one score.

Dalton, who turns 34 this month, has completed 73.5 percent of his throws for 262 yards with one TD and one pick.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) reaches for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields practices in full, Andy Dalton limited for 2nd straight day

The Chicago Bears received the full participation of rookie quarterback Justin Fields at practice for the second straight day Thursday, easing concerns about his availability for Chicago’s next game against the Detroit Lions at home Sunday.

Nose tackle Eddie Goldman (knee) also worked out without restrictions.

Fields, the No. 11 overall draft pick in this spring’s draft, suffered a right thumb injury in his first career start against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. The Bears lost 26-6 as Fields completed just 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards.

Several teammates have been impressed by his response to that outing.

“When you go through a day like we went through on Sunday, that’s tough on everybody, especially the quarterback and especially for your first start,” tight end Cole Kmet told the team site. “It’s been cool to see his attitude towards it and him wanting to get back to work this week. I’m still excited for him. He’s an unbelievable player and I think that’s going to show.”

The position, however, remains a mystery. The Bears’ previous starting quarterback, Andy Dalton, was limited Thursday with an injured knee, and Bears head coach Matt Nagy has expressed a preference for starting Dalton.

“Andy’s the 1, Justin’s the 2 and Nick is the 3,” Nagy said earlier this week. “The starter will be sorted out once we have a clearer picture.”

Dalton was joined by wide receiver Darnell Mooney (groin) on the limited list, while linebacker Khalil Mack (foot), cornerback Xavier Crawford (back), safety Tashaun Gipson (hamstring), linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring) and tight end Jesse James (personal) were held out.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) gets tripped up by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Cameron Sample (96) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Bears name QB Justin Fields starter for Week 3

Chicago Bears rookie Justin Fields has been named the team’s starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Browns in Cleveland.

Andy Dalton is battling through a bone bruise in his knee. Nick Foles will back up Fields.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday that Dalton will return as the starter once he’s healthy.

Dalton was injured in the first half of last Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton’s longtime former team. The QB grabbed his lower left leg following a sack in the second quarter. On the next play, he broke from the pocket to escape pressure and scurried out of bounds, again reaching for the outside of his leg as he returned to the Bears’ bench.

Fields took over after halftime with the host Bears leading the Bengals, 7-3.

Dalton finished 9 of 11 for 56 yards passing and a touchdown. Fields completed 6 of 13 pass attempts for 60 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries.

On the season, Dalton has completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 262 yards, with a TD and an INT for the Bears (1-1).

The Browns are 1-1.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end D.J. Reader (98) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) in the second quarter of the NFL Week 2 game between the Chicago Bears and the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. The Bears led 7-0 at halftime.

Cincinnati Bengals At Chicago Bears

Report: Andy Dalton’s knee sound, bone bruise likely

Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton is most likely dealing with a bone bruise in his knee and not an ACL injury, NFL Network reported Monday.

Dalton will undergo more tests Monday and his status for Week 3 is uncertain. However, a bone bruise likely would sideline him for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns (1-1).

Rookie Justin Fields would get his first start if Dalton is unable to go.

Dalton was injured in the first half of Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton’s longtime former team. The QB grabbed his lower left leg following a sack in the second quarter. On the next play, he broke from the pocket to escape pressure and scurried out of bounds, again reaching for the outside of his leg as he returned to the Bears’ bench.

Fields took over after halftime with the host Bears leading the Bengals, 7-3.

Dalton finished 9 of 11 for 56 yards passing and a touchdown. Fields completed 6 of 13 pass attempts for 60 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries.

On the season, Dalton has completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 262 yards, with a TD and an INT for the Bears (1-1).

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields to get start in Bears’ preseason finale

Chicago rookie quarterback Justin Fields will get the start in the Bears’ final preseason game this weekend, coach Matt Nagy announced Tuesday.

Fields will get two quarters of work vs. the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

Andy Dalton has been tabbed the Week 1 starter. Fields played behind Dalton in the team’s first two preseason games.

Fields threw for 142 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another in his first outing, then followed that with another 80 yards passing and 46 yards rushing last week vs. Buffalo.

Dalton went 11-for-17 with 146 yards and a TD pass against the Bills but had to endure Bears fans chanting Fields’ name.

“I really think it’s kind of disrespectful to Andy, them cheering my name out like that,” Fields told reporters Sunday. “Just cheer him on, you know? That’s not helping Andy play better, to cheer my name. That’s not doing none of that. My advice to them would be just cheer whoever’s on the field.”

The Bears open the season Sept. 12 on the road against the Los Angeles Rams.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) celebrates his touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins to tight end Jesse James (not pictured) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Nagy: Andy Dalton remains the Bears’ starting QB

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy tried to temper Justin Fields-mania on Monday, reiterating that veteran Andy Dalton remains the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1.

Nagy’s assertion came in the aftermath of Fields’ performance Saturday in the Bears’ opening preseason win over Miami. Fields, the No. 11 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, went 14-for-20 with 142 yards and a touchdown. Fields also rushed five times for 33 yards and a score.

Conversely, Dalton played just two series – both resulting in punts — and finished 2-for-4 for 18 yards.

“I think Andy had six plays. It’s hard to say much good or bad about that with six plays,” Nagy said. “We’re going to get him some more snaps this coming preseason game. And with Justin, I go back to what I said too, we want to be able to see live plays, live situations, he got that. The only thing he can do is to continue doing that and we have to make sure that plan allows us to evaluate how well he does knowing those circumstances. Ultimately, in the end, whatever is best for the Chicago Bears is in the end what we’re going to do.”

Nagy said all the players in the locker room are bought into the process and have accepted Dalton as the starter.

“We knew going into this that in this situation, any time there’s something that goes wrong for a guy like Andy in this situation, that that’s going to be there if Justin’s playing well. But no, this is something that we’ve planned for, prepared for, and again, Justin understands all of this, and that’s what I love about him,” Nagy said. “He understands the plan. He understands the process. They all do. We asked him to go out and play well on game day live.”

The Bears host the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. They’ll see their former starting QB, Mitchell Trubisky, whom the Bills signed in the offseason to back up Josh Allen.

–Field Level Media

Jun 9, 2021; Lake Forest, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy walks on the field during organized team activities at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Nagy: No chance Justin Fields starts for Bears Week 1

Coach Matt Nagy stood firm on the Chicago Bears’ decision to deem Andy Dalton as the team’s Week 1 starting quarterback over rookie Justin Fields in an interview Tuesday on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast.

Collinsworth asked Nagy if there was “a possible scenario” where Fields plays in the Bears’ season opener, Sept. 12 at the Los Angeles Rams on “Sunday Night Football.”

“No,” Nagy said. “I mean, Andy is our starter. And again, I can’t predict anything. You know how it goes: There’s so many things that can happen between today and that Week 1. But that’s — Andy is our starter and Justin’s our No. 2 and we are gonna stick to this plan.”

The Bears moved up nine spots in the first round of April’s NFL draft to select Fields out of Ohio State at No. 11 overall. They sent the New York Giants their first-round pick (No. 20), their fifth-rounder (No. 164) and their 2022 first- and fourth-rounders to make the move.

Fields was the fourth quarterback taken in the draft, falling just behind Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), Zach Wilson (New York Jets) and Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers).

But Chicago does not appear to be in a rush to play Fields.

The Bears signed Dalton to a one-year, $10 million deal in free agency, and general manager Ryan Pace told reporters in early April that Dalton would be their starter. That was four weeks before they traded up to pick Fields. Nick Foles also remains on the roster.

Dalton played significant snaps for the Dallas Cowboys last year once Dak Prescott went down for the year with a broken ankle. He started nine games and finished the year with 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nagy spent time on his podcast appearance describing how happy the coaching staff and front office were to pull off the trade to land Fields. But he reiterated that Dalton was always going to be the No. 1 to start 2021.

“For us, we put together this plan, and the plan is that Andy is the starter,” Nagy said. “Andy’s played 10 great years in this league … and had a lot of success. And we’re excited to be able to have him come in here and do what we think he can do, but yet also teach Justin how to play quarterback — all of us together — and insulate him so he can maximize his strengths.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass against the New York Giants in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bears GM confirms QB Andy Dalton is the starter

General manager Ryan Pace confirmed Friday that Andy Dalton will be the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback to open the 2021 season.

“He’s one of the more complete quarterbacks that we evaluated this year in free agency and we’re excited to have him,” Pace told reporters. “We feel like we’ve gotten better with Andy.”

After back-to-back 8-8 seasons, the Bears moved on from former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky and signed the 33-year-old Dalton to a one-year, $10 million contract on March 17. Trubisky later signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Dalton started nine games (4-5 record) for the Dallas Cowboys last season after Dak Prescott sustained an ankle injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Dalton passed for 2,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

In 10 career seasons, he has passed for 33,764 yards and 218 touchdowns with 126 interceptions. He played his first nine seasons with Cincinnati after being drafted in the second round in 2011 out of TCU, earning three Pro Bowl selections and leading the Bengals to five playoff berths.

Dalton gets the starting nod over Nick Foles, who was acquired in a March 2020 trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars to challenge Trubisky. Foles, 32, went 2-5 in seven starts, passing for 1,852 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight picks.

“The fit with the offense, the leadership that he provides, his decision making,” Pace said of what Dalton brings to Chicago. “When you look back over the last five years, this was Andy’s best completion percentage. I just think he’s a good fit for our offense.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass against the New York Giants in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bears make it official, sign QB Andy Dalton

The Chicago Bears announced their new quarterback acquisition — but sorry, Chicago fans. His name is not Russell Wilson.

Despite a social media outcry over the team coming to terms with Andy Dalton a day earlier, the Bears officially signed the 10-year veteran to a one-year contract, the Bears announced Wednesday.

Though the team did not reveal the contract terms, multiple outlets reported the deal is worth $10 million, with ESPN reporting another $3 million is available in incentives.

The Bears reportedly were in pursuit of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, but turned to Dalton when the Seahawks decided to not trade their seven-time Pro Bowl selection after Chicago general manager Ryan Pace offered multiple first-round picks and more, according to NFL Network.

Dalton is the latest veteran being picked up in hopes of solidifying the Bears’ quarterback position. The team signed Nick Foles last offseason to compete with Mitch Trubisky (originally the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft), but the decision proved ineffective.

Foles went 2-5 as a starter after taking over in during a Week 3 game against the Atlanta Falcons, passing for 10 touchdowns on the season with eight interceptions.

Trubisky started the first three games of 2020, then regained the job in Week 12. He rallied the Bears to victories in three of their last four games to earn a spot in the playoffs, where they were eliminated by the New Orleans Saints in the wild-card round.

The Bears declined to pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option, making him a free agent.

Dalton took over as the Dallas Cowboys starter after Dak Prescott came away with a gruesome ankle injury in a Week 5 game against the New York Giants. The 33-year-old went 4-5 as the Cowboys starter, passing for 2,170 yards with 14 TDs and eight interceptions in 11 games (nine starts).

In 10 career seasons, Dalton has passed for 33,764 yards and 218 touchdowns with 126 interceptions. He played his first nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals after he was a second-round draft pick in 2011 out of TCU. In his first five NFL seasons, Dalton’s Bengals had winning records in all five with four 10-plus win seasons. But he has posted losing records as a starter in each of his last five seasons.

In the same announcement, the Bears also announced they also re-signed offensive lineman Germain Ifedi. The 26-year-old played in Chicago last season, starting all 16 games (10 at right tackle, six at right guard). He spent his first four years with Seattle after being taken by the Seahawks in the first round (No. 31 overall) in 2016.

–Field Level Media