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Andy Dalton to start for Chicago Bears Thanksgiving, Justin Fields out

Vincent Frank

The reeling Chicago Bears will be forced to throw veteran journeyman Andy Dalton under center Thanksgiving afternoon against the Detroit Lions.

With current starter Justin Fields battling through a rib injury he suffered in Week 11’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, there’s just not enough time to get him ready to go for this one.

So, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, it will be Dalton getting the start for a Bears team that has lost five consecutive games.

At 3-7 on the season, Chicago is pretty much playing out the string under embattled head coach Matt Nagy. Whether it’s been Dalton or Fields under center this season, the results have been pretty much the same.

  • Andy Dalton stats: 1-1 record, 65.8% completion, 471 yards, three touchdowns, one interception
  • Justin Fields stats: 2-6 record, 58.1% completion, 1,361 yards, six touchdowns, eight interceptions

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The good news? Dalton will be going up against a Lions squad that is 0-9-1 on the season and yielding the third-most points in the NFL. Dating back to last season, Detroit has won one of its past 17 games. The bad news? That one win came against these Bears back in Week 13 of the 2020 campaign.

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After taking on the Lions Thanksgiving Day, Chicago must go up against three teams currently in playoff positioning in that of the Cardinals, Packers and Vikings before traveling to Seattle to take on the Seahawks the day after Christmas.

The moral of this story? Regardless of who is starting under center, the ship has pretty much sailed on the Bears’ 2021 season. It’s now about getting Justin Fields all the reps he needs heading into a 2022 season that likely won’t include Nagy coaching from the sideline.