Oct 10, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Chicago Bears running back Damien Williams (8) spins out of the reach of Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) and Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward (29) during a game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Bears RB Damien Williams placed on COVID list

The Chicago Bears moved running back Damien Williams to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

If Williams is vaccinated, he needs to record two negative tests 24 hours apart while being symptom-free in order to return, per NFL protocols.

That might not be enough time for Williams to make it back for Sunday’s showdown in Chicago against the rival Green Bay Packers. The winner between Green Bay (4-1) and Chicago (3-2) will lead the NFC North.

The Bears are already down one running back, David Montgomery. Starting the season as their lead back, Montgomery suffered a sprained knee and was moved to injured reserve earlier this month.

If Williams can’t go, Khalil Herbert will take the top spot on Chicago’s depth chart. The rookie sixth-round draft pick took 18 carries for 75 yards last week in a road win over the Las Vegas Raiders, while Williams had 16 attempts for 64 yards and a touchdown plus two receptions for 20 yards.

Williams, 29, is in his first season with the Bears and opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. In 90 games spent with the Miami Dolphins (2014-17), Kansas City Chiefs (2018-19) and Chicago, he’s amassed 1,368 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns while catching 148 passes for 1,167 yards and another 10 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) warms up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Bears-Packers rivalry renewed with fresh QB confrontation

Justin Fields versus Aaron Rodgers will be a go on Sunday when the Chicago Bears host the longtime rival Green Bay Packers.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said Fields will be under center for Chicago after the rookie hyperextended his left knee during a Week 5 road victory against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Fields returned to the game after being examined to guide Chicago (3-2) to a win. The Bears are aiming to take control of the NFC North from the Packers (4-1).

Fields knows the tales of Rodgers’ dominance of the Bears and is excited for his opportunity to shift the narrative.

“I’m excited,” Fields said. “Of course Aaron Rodgers is a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s a great quarterback. He’s been playing since as long as I can remember. I know it’s gonna be a good matchup between him and our defense. Our defense has been playing well. I’m excited to see him play.”

While the Bears long have staked their team identity behind defense, Rodgers often has looked the other way.

The three-time NFL MVP is 20-5 against Chicago in his career with 55 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 107.2 passer rating.

Rodgers was 27-for-39 for 344 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in last week’s 25-22 overtime victory at Cincinnati. He vaulted into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time touchdown passes list while continuing his connection with Davante Adams, who had 11 receptions for a career-best 206 yards.

Will Adams carry any extra motivation into the Chicago game?

“I hate everybody I play against,” he said. “So like I said last week, when I go out there, I try to murder you. They’ll get the same treatment this week.”

For Green Bay and Rodgers, another cast change for Chicago is not a surprise.

Fields is set to become the 20th different Bears quarterback to start against the Packers since 1992.

Green Bay boasts a 44-15 edge against Chicago since 1992 while starting just three quarterbacks in that time — Brett Favre, Brett Hundley and Rodgers.

The Bears have won two straight following an abysmal offensive output in a Week 3 loss at Cleveland.

At Las Vegas, running backs Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams, filling in for the injured David Montgomery, combined to rush for 139 yards, while Cairo Santos connected on two 46-yard field goals in the fourth quarter.

Couple that with a steady D and increasing confidence from Fields, and the Bears feel optimistic about their season trajectory.

“We’re paying complementary football right now,” Bears safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. said. “Offense is doing what they need to do. Defense is playing phenomenal right now. Special teams is coming up big for us right now.”

Green Bay welcomed offensive linemen Elgton Jenkins (ankle) and Josh Myers (finger) back to practice this week.

“We’re going to need them,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “This (Chicago) is a really sound and physically gifted defense. It’s going to be a physical game.”

LaFleur added the Bears are “the best defense we’ll have played” in 2021, lauding the combination of the team’s scheme and personnel.

Green Bay posted 19- and 16-point wins over the Bears last season. The Packers have a 19-4 advantage over Chicago since 2010.

The Packers are 101-95-6 against the Bears — the biggest edge they’ve held against their rival all-time.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Chicago Bears offensive guard Germain Ifedi (74) on the sidelines in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bears place RT Germain Ifedi, LB Jeremiah Attaochu on IR

The Chicago Bears placed right tackle Germain Ifedi and outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu on injured reserve Wednesday.

Ifedi, 27, sustained a knee injury late in the first half of Sunday’s 20-9 road victory against the Las Vegas Raiders.

He has started all 21 games since signing with the Bears in the 2020 offseason. He played his first four seasons (60 starts) with the Seahawks, who drafted him in the first round in 2016.

Ifedi was replaced by Elijah Wilkinson, who will likely get the start for Sunday’s NFC North clash between the host Bears (3-2) and Packers (4-1).

Attaochu, 28, suffered a pectoral injury against the Raiders. In his first season with Chicago, he came off the bench in each of the first five games and totaled two tackles.

Attaochu has 20.5 sacks, 43 quarterback hits and 146 tackles in 79 games (23 starts) with the Chargers (2014-17), Jets (2018), Broncos (2019-20) and Bears.

Chicago also signed running back Ryan Nall and outside linebacker Sam Kamara to the 53-man roster. Linebackers Ledarius Mack and Rashad Smith and guard Dareuan Parker were signed to the practice squad.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) rushes through a gap as Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) pursues the play at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields tosses first career TD pass as Bears beat Raiders

Justin Fields passed for 111 yards and a touchdown to lead the visiting Chicago Bears to a 20-9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon.

Fields completed 12-of-20 passes in his first start since being named the permanent starter for the Bears (3-2), who got plenty of help from a ground game that rolled up 143 yards. Khalil Herbert, a rookie from Virginia Tech, led the way with 75 yards on 18 carries, while Damien Williams rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Roquan Smith had 10 tackles and Khalil Mack had eight tackles and a sack to lead Chicago’s defense, which held Las Vegas, which was averaging 406.5 yards in total offense, to just 259 yards.

Derek Carr completed 22-of-35 passes for 206 yards and an interception for Las Vegas (3-2), while Josh Jacobs rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Chicago took a 14-3 halftime lead, holding Las Vegas to just six first downs and 126 yards in total offense in the process.

The Raiders overcame a pair of holding penalties, including one that wiped out a 2-yard touchdown run by Jacobs, to take a 3-0 lead on a 31-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson with four minutes to go in the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 69-yard drive.

But the Bears answered with a 10-play, 72-yard drive to take a 7-3 lead with Fields connecting with Jesper Horsted at the back of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, Fields’ first NFL scoring pass.

The drive was kept alive by roughing the passer penalties on both Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby as well as an illegal hands to the face penalty by Johnathan Abram.

Chicago then made it made 14-3 on its next possession, driving 86 yards in 16 plays while chewing 8:17 off the clock and losing Fields for three plays with a left leg injury after a tackle by Ngakoue.

Fields returned to hit Allen Robinson II with a 12-yard pass to the Las Vegas 20. Herbert followed with a pair of runs to the 4, where Williams, using a nifty spin move on corner Amik Robertson in the flat, scored off left tackle.

The Raiders cut it to 14-9 with 9:05 to go in the game on a 1-yard run by Jacobs. The 16-play, 74-yard drive saw Carr leave for four plays after taking a shot to the head from Smith on a quarterback sneak on third-and-one at the Bears 43.

Nathan Peterman came in and drove the Raiders to another first down, capped ironically by a 1-yard keeper on fourth-and-one at the 32. Las Vegas attempted a two-point conversion, but Mack sacked Carr.

Chicago then answered with another time-consuming 10-play, 57-yard drive that used up 6:16. It was capped by a 46-yard field goal by Cairo Santos with 2:45 remaining.

After the Bears stopped the Raiders on downs, Santos sealed the win with another 46-yard field goal, his 34th successful field goal try in a row.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) celebrates a tackle in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears activate Danny Trevathan; send David Montgomery to IR

The Chicago Bears activated linebacker Danny Trevathan off injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s clash with the host Las Vegas Raiders.

Also Saturday, the Bears placed running back David Montgomery (knee sprain) on IR, downgraded defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (groin) to out and elevated running back Ryan Nall from the practice squad to the active roster.

Trevathan, 31, missed the first four games with a knee injury. He returned to practice Sept. 29.

Trevathan has notched 10 sacks, eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles in 112 career games (93 starts) with the Denver Broncos (2012-15) and Bears.

Montgomery exited Sunday’s 24-14 victory against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter. He rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

Montgomery, 24, leads the Bears with 309 rushing yards and three scores. He also has six catches for 49 yards.

Hicks, 31, was hurt on the first play from scrimmage against the Lions. The 10th-year veteran has 10 tackles and four QB hits in four starts this season.

Nall, 25, has not played this season. He tallied 75 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown in 24 appearances for Chicago from 2019-20.

–Field Level Media

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

Bears unleash Justin Fields era on Raiders

So much for the best-laid plans.

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy, who as recently as Monday insisted he would stick with veteran Andy Dalton as his starting quarterback when he returned from a minor knee injury, called an audible and announced Wednesday that rookie Justin Fields would be his starter moving forward.

Next up: Sunday afternoon when the Bears (2-2) visit the Las Vegas Raiders (3-1).

Nagy was the offensive coordinator for Andy Reid in 2017 in Kansas City when the Chiefs started veteran Alex Smith for most of the season over a highly touted rookie named Patrick Mahomes. He had said he would follow that same script with Fields.

But that changed after the first-round pick from Ohio State led Chicago to a 24-14 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards and an interception, putting behind memories of a disastrous starting debut a week earlier in a 26-6 loss at Cleveland when he completed just six of 20 passes for 68 yards.

Dalton, injured during a 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, returned to practice on Wednesday and is expected to back up Fields.

“This is Justin’s time. We’re so confident moving forward,” said Nagy. “He’s done everything to show us that he’s ready for this opportunity. … The biggest thing for us is to understand that it’s not going to be perfect.”

Nagy informed the duo of his decision on Tuesday. Fields said his parents wanted to celebrate and take him out for dinner when they found out the news but he declined.

“I was just home with my dog Uno watching film all night,” he said.

Fields said that Dalton showed no bitterness over the decision.

“He called me on the way home,” said Fields. “He just told me it was a great opportunity for me and that he’d be here for it all, for everything I needed. He didn’t want our relationship to change because of the situation. I told him that was comforting to hear coming from him.”

“Andy, unfortunately, got hurt with his knee,” said Nagy. “That sped the plan up. I appreciate the way he understood it and the way he handled it. He also cares immensely about this team and I appreciate that.”

Fields will be facing a Las Vegas team coming off a physical 28-14 loss to the Chargers in Los Angeles on Monday night.

Cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen (toe) and Damon Arnette (groin), running back Peyton Barber (toe) and tight end Derrick Carrier (pectoral) all sat out practice with injuries on Wednesday. Safety Johnathan Abram (shoulder), running back Josh Jacobs (ankle) and left tackle Kolton Miller (knee) were limited.

To bolster its thin secondary, Las Vegas designated cornerback Keisean Nixon to return from the reserve/injured list and also signed corner Brandon Facyson from the Chargers’ practice squad.

Quarterback Derek Carr has thrown for 1,399 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions and earned AFC Player of the Month honors for September. But he had to spend much of Wednesday addressing comments made by Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa questioning his toughness.

Said Bosa: “We knew once we hit him a few times, he really gets shook. … Great dude, great player … but once you get pressure on him, he kind of shuts down.”

“Maybe (Bosa) was just trying to get under my skin,” said Carr. “Which, he did piss me off. So, good job for that. But that’s not a bad thing either.”

Two of Chicago’s defensive stalwarts, outside linebacker and ex-Raider Khalil Mack (ribs, foot) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (groin), both sat out practice on Wednesday while wide receiver Darnell Mooney (groin) was limited.

Running back Damien Williams (quad), expected to take over for injured starter David Montgomery (knee), took part in a full practice.

–Field Level Media

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

Oct 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) runs with the football in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bears lose David Montgomery (knee) 4-5 weeks

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery is expected to miss four to five weeks with a sprained knee, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Montgomery exited Sunday’s 24-14 victory against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter. He rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

The 100-yard outing was his second of the season and he leads the Bears with 309 rushing yards and three scores and has six catches for 49 yards.

The 24-year-old Montgomery rushed for 889 yards as a rookie in 2019 and 1,070 last season.

With Montgomery out, the Bears have Damien Williams and rookie Khalil Herbert on their 53-man roster at running back. Williams, 29, has 114 yards from scrimmage and one TD this season and could be in line to start next Sunday for the Bears (2-2) at the Las Vegas Raiders (3-1).

Chicago reportedly added some depth at receiver on Tuesday, acquiring 5-foot-7 Jakeem Grant for the Miami Dolphins for a 2023 sixth-round pick, according to NFL Network.

Grant primarily has served as a returner during his five-plus seasons in Miami, running back three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns over the course of his career. Grant has also caught 91 passes for 1,001 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Matt Nagy: Andy Dalton still QB1 when healthy

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday that Andy Dalton remains his starting quarterback when healthy.

Rookie Justin Fields made his second straight start under center Sunday and earned his first NFL victory with a 24-14 defeat of the visiting Detroit Lions.

Dalton missed his second straight game with a knee injury and Nick Foles served as Fields’ backup on Sunday.

“When Andy’s healthy, he’s our starter. Justin’s the two. Nick’s the three,” Nagy confirmed Monday.

The Bears (2-2) visit the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5.

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, 34, has completed 73.5 percent of his throws for 262 yards with one TD and one pick.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) runs with the football in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Bears RB David Montgomery injures left knee

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery exited Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter due to a left knee injury.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said after the 24-14 victory that the team didn’t yet know the seriousness.

Meanwhile, nfl.com reported that Montgomery will undergo an MRI exam on Monday with the team feeling the injury may only be a hyperextended knee.

Montgomery rushed for 106 yards and two touchdown on 23 carries against the Lions.

He was injured with just over 11 minutes remaining and grabbed his knee in obvious pain.

“As soon as he got tackled and I saw his facial expression and heard him, I was waving my hand for the trainers to come over as fast as they can,” Bears receiver Darnell Moody said.

The 100-yard outing was Montgomery’s second of the season. He leads the Bears with 309 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The 24-year-old Montgomery is in his third NFL season. He rushed for 889 yards as a rookie in 2019 and 1,070 last season.

–Field Level Media