Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields isn’t expected to return from his rib injury on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but one of his fellow rookies could potentially see his first NFL game in action.
Bears coach Matt Nagy named quarterback Andy Dalton as starter and Nick Foles as backup for the Week 13 game at Soldier Field, saying that Fields was making progress but was not medically ready to play.
Meanwhile, the Bears have cleared rookie offensive tackle Teven Jenkins to activate three and a half months after his back surgery. Jenkins, the 39th draft pick out of Oklahoma State in the spring, returned to practice on November 15 and is feeling well, Nagy said.
Nagy indicated that Jenkins would – for now – have offensive line depth behind experienced left tackle Jason Peters and rookie right tackle Larry Borom, but could also be used on a field-goal/extra-point team or in special situations. Negi said that it can be very difficult to execute rotation with Borom midseason.
“When you draft a guy you always anticipate how he’s going to play, so the common answer would be yes (you want to see him),” Nagy said. “But at that point he gives us a lot of depth, and we have a position in the left tackle where Jason Peters is playing very well. And that’s a good thing, so you always need as many o-linemen as you have.” We’re on the other side where the injury bug hit us, so it’s going to be tough to pass. But right now we like the depth.”
However, the depth of the bear will be tested at other locations. Wide receiver Alan Robinson is suspected to play in the game due to a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Marquis Goodwin is out with leg and rib injuries. Defensive linemen Akim Hicks (ankle) and Mario Edwards Jr. (ribs) and running back Damien Williams (calf) are also out. Linebacker Rokan Smith, who is suffering from a hamstring injury, has returned to practice in a limited capacity and is doubtful to play.
Dalton would start his second straight game in place of Fields, who broke his rib against the Baltimore Ravens. Fields practiced in limited capacity throughout the week alongside the scout team, and Negi said the rookie’s pain was improving.
“Progress is definitely a good word for him, being able to get out there in practice and get used to throwing the ball around and doing normal things,” Negi said. “And now the biggest thing for her is just being able to understand, maybe more than anything, just pain management how things feel. We’re obviously not going to be there and when she runs around in practice. So hit him and see. So it’s going to be constant communication between him, our coaches, me about how he’s feeling and how everything is going.”
Negi said it is important for Fields to get practice reps and stay focused in meetings so that their development is not hindered. Fields, who was listed as suspect in an injury report on Friday, has made seven starts but will have played only two quarters in more than a month when he eventually returns.
“Mentally he is as involved as he was playing,” Nagy said. “Nothing changes mentally. So they’ve done a great job with it. Whether it’s in the morning setup meetings, whether it’s in the post-practice meetings, getting heavily involved, asking great questions.” .
Dalton only had a week-long walk-through before leading the Bears to victory over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and said it was helpful to have a full-speed rep this week.
After losing his initial job to Fields when he hurt his knee in Week 2, Dalton, who is on a one-year contract with the Bears, now has another chance to show how he is at this point. able to play. Livelihood.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be out there,” said Dalton, 34. “It’s a lot more fun to play than to sit on the sidelines. I’m just trying to make the most of it. I’m doing everything I can to help this team win and be the best for this team.” I can become a player, and everything else will take care of itself.”