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Andy Dalton Gets the Nod

Justin Fields is healing but the Bears don't want to risk further damage to his broken ribs and will start Andy Dalton Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

It's Andy Dalton's chance to make another statement against a stronger opponent. 

After beating the winless Detroit Lions in his third start of the season, Dalton will start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears in a second straight game due to broken ribs plaguing starter Justin Fields.

Fields was able to practice all week on a limited basis but coach Matt Nagy on Friday announced Dalton's start against the 9-2 Arizona Cardinals, who have the NFL's best record.

"Justin is making good progress, just not there yet medically for the clearance," coach Matt Nagy said.

Fields is officially listed doubtful for the game, although he did do some work with the scout team against the first-team Bears defense this week.

While Fields was limited all week in practice, he didn't practice at all prior to the 16-14 win Nov. 25 against the Detroit Lions.

Nick Foles will be the backu

Dalton likely will be without one of the team's top receivers to help.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson is doubtful for the game and hasn't been able to go since the Nov. 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has missed two games with a hamstring injury.

The Bears also will be without defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle), defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. (ribs), wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (ribs) and running back Damien Williams (calf). All have been ruled out for the game. Linebacker Roquan Smith (hamstring) is questionable.  

Also, Nagy said tackle Teven Jenkins will be activated from injured reserve and be in his first NFL game after going through bsurgery in August.

Fields has not had a full practice all week, or since before he suffered broken ribs against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 21. He practiced on a limited basis from Wednesday through Friday, and it's possible his status could be upgraded or downgraded on Saturday before a final decision is rendered 90 minutes prior to Sunday's kickoff.

Dalton relieved Fields in the third quarter against Baltimore, then started the 16-14 victory against Detroit on Thanksgiving.

In the two games since Fields' injury, Dalton completed 35 of 62 passes for 518 yards with three touchdowns and an interception for a passer rating of 93.35

On the season Dalton is 72 of 112 (64.3%) for 788 yards with four TDs, two interceptions and a passer rating of 89.4. He averages 7.0 yards per pass attempt. Dalton has started three games and the Bears won two of them.

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The Bears are 2-6 in games Fields has started. He has completed 115 of 198 (58.1%) for 1,361 yards with four TDs and eight interceptions. He has a passer rating of 69.0 and averages 6.9 yards per attempt. Fields also has run for 311 yards on 56 attempts with two TDs.

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