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

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes the ball as Washington Football Team nose tackle Daron Payne (94) defends in the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dalton to come off COVID-19 list

The Dallas Cowboys will activate quarterback Andy Dalton and defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy said.

Dalton returned to practice on Monday after missing two games. He was in both the concussion and COVID-19 protocols. Crawford was placed on the list on Nov. 11 after coming into contact with a person who tested positive.

Dalton, signed to back up starter Dak Prescott, came in during the Cowboys’ Oct. 11 game against the New York Giants after Prescott went down with a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury. Dallas (2-7) won that game on a field goal in the last minute.

With Dalton hurt two games later, third- and fourth-stringers Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert have started for Dallas, which has lost four straight and is coming off a bye week.

Dalton has thrown for 452 yards this season with one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 61.2 percent of his passes. The 33-year-old veteran spent his first nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, throwing for 31,594 yards and 204 touchdowns with 118 interceptions. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during his time in Cincinnati.

Crawford, 30, has played 45 percent of the team’s defensive snaps through the first nine games of the season.

The Cowboys travel to face the Minnesota Vikings (4-5) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team linebacker Jon Bostic (53) tackles Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

QB Dalton returns to practice for Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback carousel could turn again this weekend, as backup quarterback Andy Dalton returned to practice Monday.

Signed in May to back up starter Dak Prescott, Dalton has missed two games since sustaining a concussion on a hit by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic on Oct. 25. Placed in the league’s concussion protocol that day, Dalton also landed on Dallas’ reserve/COVID-19 list early this month.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that Dalton is “cleared for practice and had a good day today. We had a mock game-type practice for us, and he was a full participant.”

Dalton came in during the Cowboys’ Oct. 11 game against the New York Giants after Prescott went down with a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury. Dallas (2-7) won that game on a field goal in the last minute.

With Dalton hurt two games later, third- and fourth-stringers Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert have started for Dallas, which has lost four straight and is coming off a bye week.

Dalton has thrown for 452 yards this season with one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 61.2 percent of his passes. The 33-year-old veteran spent his first nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, throwing for 31,594 yards and 204 touchdowns with 118 interceptions. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during his time in Cincinnati.

The Cowboys travel to face the Minnesota Vikings (3-5) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is helped to the locker room after being knocked out of the game on a hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (not pictured) in the third quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Dalton to COVID list, ruled out for Week 9

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton is going from one protocol to another. Dalton will be placed on reserve/COVID-19 this week, sidelining him for a second consecutive game, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Ben DiNucci is expected to get his second start this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dalton missed last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after suffering a concussion during the Cowboys’ Oct. 25 loss against the Washington Football Team. Dallas is 2-6 and riding a three-game losing streak with the 7-0 Steelers coming in.

Dalton, 33, was expected to start against the Steelers, having reportedly cleared the concussion protocol.

The Dallas Morning News reports Dalton was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Dalton came in for the injured Dak Prescott in the Cowboys’ Oct. 11 game against the New York Giants after Prescott went down with a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury. Dalton has played one full game in Prescott’s absence, a 38-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 19.

Dalton is 52-for-85 passing for 452 yards with a touchdown against three interceptions this season. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection in his nine years as the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

DiNucci finished 21-for-40 for 180 yards in the 23-9 loss to the Eagles, and was sacked four times.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes the ball as Washington Football Team nose tackle Daron Payne (94) defends in the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dalton still in concussion protocol

The Dallas Cowboys were hoping they would only have to rely on rookie Ben DiNucci for one spot start, but Andy Dalton is not yet ready to return to practice, coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.

Dalton missed the Cowboys’ 23-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday after he sustained a head injury on an illegal hit from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic in Week 7.

“Andy hasn’t officially cleared the protocol,” McCarthy said. “Once we make it through that, we’ll announce it to you.”

Dallas owner Jerry Jones previously stated that he hoped to have Dalton back in the lineup in time for the Cowboys’ visit from the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.

Dallas (2-6) averaged 32.6 points per game with Dak Prescott at the helm before Prescott sustained a season-ending leg injury during a Week 5 win against the New York Giants.

In the three games since Prescott’s injury, the Cowboys have netted a combined 22 points.

Dalton, 33, struggled after taking over for Prescott. On the season, he has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 452 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in four games, two starts, this season.

DiNucci, who finished his college career at James Madison, hit on 21 of 40 passes for 180 yards in his first NFL start against the Eagles. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass or an interception but lost a pair of fumbles and was sacked four times.

Dallas remains in the hunt in the lackluster NFC East, where it trails Philadelphia by 1 1/2 games for the division lead. But fixing the stagnant offense won’t be easy without the regular QB, McCarthy said.

“No. 1, it starts with Dak,” McCarthy said. “Anytime an offense loses its starting quarterback … I mean, he was playing at a high level.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is helped to the locker room after being knocked out of the game on a hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (not pictured) in the third quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cowboys’ Dalton (concussion) out vs. Eagles

The Dallas Cowboys shifted quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) from doubtful to out for Sunday’s NFC East clash against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to multiple reports.

He will not travel with the team to Philadelphia.

Rookie Ben DiNucci will make his first career start, with Garrett Gilbert serving as his backup.

The Cowboys started the season with Dak Prescott at quarterback, but he sustained a compound fracture of his right ankle in a win against the New York Giants on Oct. 11 and is out for the season.

Dalton replaced him and suffered the concussion last Sunday in a loss to the Washington Football Team on a hit by linebacker Jon Bostic. Dalton went into a slide and, with his knee on the ground, Bostic plowed his shoulder into Dalton’s facemask. The result was Dalton’s first documented NFL concussion and an ejection from the game for Bostic.

Dalton is in his first season in Dallas after spending nine years as the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals. He has completed 52 passes for 452 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions on the season.

The Cowboys selected DiNucci, who played collegiately at Pittsburgh and then James Madison, in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. In relief of Dalton last week, he was 2-of-3 passing for 39 yards.

The Eagles enter the game at 2-4-1, while the Cowboys are 2-5.

–Field Level Media