CHICAGO (CBS) — Andy Dalton will return as the Bears’ starting quarterback on Sunday against the Lions if he’s healthy, coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday.
Rookie Justin Fields will start if Dalton isn’t ready to play.
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Matt Nagy says they expect both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields at practice today in some capacity. Nagy says Andy is the #1 QB, but they’ll know more about status after today’s practice. #Bears @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/91Ksr6Fktw
— Matt Zahn (@mattzahnsports) September 29, 2021
Fields started the Week 3 game against the Browns, completing 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards in a 26-6 loss in Cleveland, his first start in the NFL.
The Bears turned to Fields as the starter last week after Dalton suffered a bone bruise in Week 2 against the Bengals, and Fields finished the game. Nagy has said it’s possible Dalton will miss multiple games.
Fields suffered a hand injury in the Browns game, but has said he’s “fine,” and Nagy said both quarterbacks are expected back at practice on Wednesday. He said he’ll know more about their availability for Sunday’s game after practice.
Meantime, Nagy declined to say if he would surrender play-calling duties against the Lions.READ MORE: Judge Bars Chicago Police Union President John Catanzara From Encouraging Officers To Defy City's Vaccine Mandate
Nagy has faced intense criticism for his handling of the offense against the Browns, after averaging only 1.1 yards per offensive play, the second fewest by any team in a game this century. The Bears managed only 47 yards on 42 plays, and had only one net passing yard after taking into account the 67 yards lost on nine sacks.
After the game, head coach Matt Nagy took full accountability.
“I obviously as a head coach did not do a good enough job of getting this offense ready,” Nagy said. “It starts with me. It ends with me.”
In particular, Nagy faced criticism for not calling more designed rollouts or run-pass option plays to take advantage of Fields’ mobility.MORE NEWS: Boy, 16, Critically Wounded In East Garfield Park Shooting
Nagy would not say Wednesday what changes the Bears might make on Sunday, including whether he might hand over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, as he did midway through last season.