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Dalton will start in QB for the Bears vs Lions on Thursday;  Fields likely inactive with rib injury – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS / AP) – With rookie Justin Fields still tending to injured ribs, Andy Dalton will start quarterback Thursday when the Bears visit the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

Head coach Matt Nagy confirmed on Tuesday that Dalton will start on Thursday, while Fields will most likely be inactive. That would make Nick Foles his replacement against the Lions.

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Nagy said he hopes Fields will be healthy enough to return as a starter in their Week 13 game against the Arizona Cardinals on December 5.

“We just have to see where his ribs are. I think it’s day to day. He’s doing pretty well, and we just need to keep an eye on that, ”Nagy said.

Fields left Sunday’s game against the Ravens after sustaining a rib injury in the third quarter.

The Bears (3-7) were hoping Fields would capitalize on his best outing as a pro on Sunday against the Ravens. Instead, he struggled before heading to the locker room in the third quarter, and the Bears lost their fifth straight game.

Fields completed just 4 of 11 passes for 79 yards after throwing for a career-high 291 yards in Pittsburgh two weeks earlier. His last play was a 6-yard scrimmage on the third and 11 at the Chicago 45 in the opening practice of the third quarter.

This is not the first time Fields has injured his ribs.

He shot them in the national semifinals last year when Clemson linebacker James Skalski nailed him in the right side of his chest. Skalski was ejected for targeting as he was leading with the crown of his helmet.

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Fields missed one play and finished with six touchdown passes in Ohio State’s 49-28 win. The ribs bothered him in the National Championship game and the Buckeyes lost 52-24 to Alabama.

The Bears are banking on Fields to become a star after trading nine spots with the New York Giants to draft him with the 11th overall pick. A big part of that is keeping it healthy. But he also needs clichés.

After replacing Fields against the Ravens, Dalton threw two touchdowns, including one from 49 yards to an open Marquise Goodwin in the dying minutes.

Dalton found Goodwin in the middle of the field with fourths and 11s to cap a 75-yard drive and placed Chicago in the lead 13-9 with 1:41 remaining. Even though the 2-point conversion pass failed, the Bears appeared to be in good shape.

Dalton, who started the first two games before a knee injury in Week 2 against Cincinnati, arrived with 8:46 left in the third quarter and quickly threw a 60-yard touchdown at Darnell Mooney on a screen to give to the Bears a 7-6 lead. The veteran was 11 for 23 for 201 yards.

But Baltimore responded to Goodwin’s starting scoreline with a 72-yard touchdown. Freeman executed it after quarterback Tyler Huntley’s 29-yard pass to Sammy Watkins put the ball on the 3, and the Ravens emerged victorious even without their best player, quarterback Lamar Jackson, no. missed the match due to illness.

Huntley completed 26 of 36 passes for 219 yards in his first career start. The second-year pro who was not drafted from Utah also threw an interception and was sacked six times in his fifth professional appearance.

That didn’t help the Bears miss star linebacker Khalil Mack, who is slated for season-ending foot surgery this week. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) were also unavailable, and it’s unclear whether they’ll return on Thursday.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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