Bears’ Justin Fields finishes first half after Andy Dalton hurts ankle against Bengals


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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields led Chicago’s final drive before halftime after starter Andy Dalton went to the locker room Sunday. Fields completed 2-of-3 pass attempts on that series for 21 yards, as well as one carry for six yards, but the series ended in a punt. He also came in for three plays earlier in the game, when Dalton appeared to suffer an ankle injury.

Dalton appeared to get hurt on a 14-yard scramble in the second quarter as he faced the Cincinnati Bengals, his former team. Fields entered the game following the play. Dalton was taken to the medical tent but came rushing out and began jogging on the sidelines. He entered the game on the following possession.

Fields was in the game for three plays — one handoff, an incomplete pass and a carry for no gain — on his first series. Trainers decided later in the half to take Dalton to the locker room for further evaluation, so Fields re-entered to close the half. 

Dalton was signed in free agency and immediately deemed ‘QB1’ by Chicago. Less than two months later, the team used the No. 11 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft on Fields. Head coach Matt Nagy never wavered in his stance that the veteran would start the season. Following a Week 1 loss to the Rams, the Bears returned home to host Dalton’s former team — the Bengals

The 33-year-old had a divinely average debut for his new team completing 27-of-38 passes for 206 yards and one interception. 

Fields completed 2-of-2 passes for 10 yards, in addition to one carry for three yards and a touchdown in the opener. The Ohio State product was the fourth of five quarterbacks selected in the first round. 

Chicago made the decision to stick with Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace after going 8-8 during the regular season. The Bears lost in the wild-card round to the Saints, 21-9. 

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