Bears' Matt Nagy Hints Andy Dalton Could Return from Injury in Week 4 vs. Lions

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 29, 2021

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said he expects quarterback Andy Dalton to practice Wednesday after the signal-caller missed the team's Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns with a knee injury.

According to ESPN's Field Yates, Nagy said he expected both Dalton and backup Justin Fields to practice in "some capacity" Wednesday. Nagy also reiterated that Dalton is the starter, Fields is the backup and Nick Foles is the No. 3 quarterback.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted that the bone bruise in Dalton's knee was supposed to keep him out anywhere from one to three weeks, and with Dalton potentially practicing Wednesday, he could be back in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions.

After suffering the knee injury in Chicago's Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton was ruled out for Week 3 and Fields was named the starter.

There was plenty of chatter within the Bears fanbase and among analysts and experts that Fields should have begun the year as the starter after Chicago took him 11th in the 2021 draft, but it became clear in Week 3 that he is facing a steep learning curve.

In Fields' first career start, the Bears fell 26-6 to the Cleveland Browns on the road, and he completed just six of 20 pass attempts for 68 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions while also rushing for 12 yards.

While Fields didn't appear ready for the starting responsibility, the offensive line didn't do him any favors, as he was under siege all day and got sacked nine times.

Every indication is that Dalton is merely keeping the seat warm until Fields is fully ready to start, but the Bears unquestionably looked better with the 33-year-old veteran under center.

In parts of two games, Dalton went 1-1 and completed 73.5 percent of his passes for 262 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 38 yards.

Week 4 represents a golden opportunity for the Bears to even their record at 2-2, as they will host the 0-3 Lions.