NFL

Bears rookie Fields to make second NFL start after Dalton injury

By Sports Desk October 02, 2021

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields will make his second NFL start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy has turned to the rookie after veteran QB Andy Dalton (knee) was downgraded to doubtful for Week 4 of the NFL season.

There was some doubt over first-year quarterback Fields due a hand injury, but he will line up under center for the Bears (1-2) at home to the winless Lions (0-3).

The number 11 pick in the NFL Draft, Fields has the chance to bounce back from an underwhelming start to life in the NFL.

In last week's 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns as Dalton sat out, Fields was sacked nine times and held to just six of 20 passing for 68 yards and 12 rushing yards on three attempts.

"This week's practice compared to last week's practice, I felt just more comfortable at practice just kind of getting that under my belt and getting kind of past that," Fields said.

"Last week, you really can't get worse than that. I mean, I hope not. But I felt comfortable this week."

Chicago finished their defeat against the Browns with one net passing yard. It was the fewest net passing yards for the Bears in a game since negative-20 passing yards in 1981 against the Lions.

"Justin's game that he played last week, he did a lot of things that he's going to learn from," Nagy said. "But we also, and myself, have to help him. I think the biggest thing for him is, 'OK, here's how I was in the week of practice. Here's how I was on game day, both physically and mentally. Now how am I going to be heading into this week? Am I getting better? Is there improvement? Am I getting better at the things I was good at? Am I getting better at the things that I wasn't so good at?'

"And that's what we're doing as coaches throughout the week of practice, is being able to watch him and see that. I can say from last week to this week that you do see that advancement. That there, knowing and feeling how he practiced, is why I would answer it that way."

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