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First Justin Fields Start May Hinge on Bruise

An NFL Network report by Ian Rapoport labeled the knee injury to Bears starting quarterback Andy Dalton a bone bruise, which could mean just about anything except a season-ending problem.

The severity of a bone bruise now seems to be the issue for Bears quarterback Andy Dalton.

Dalton is suffering from a bone bruise to his left knee according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. As it's a bruise, the severity is the key in determining required time to heal.

The Bears have not confirmed the NFL Network report and have not announced if Dalton will miss Sunday's game at Cleveland against the Browns.

Fields came just before halftime Sunday after Dalton suffered the non-contact injury while scrambling out of bounds with the Bears leading 7-0.

The injury actually comes at a bad time because the Bears may need to keep Nick Foles around now, rather than accept any trade offers for him. Several other quarterback injuries in the league Sunday could have made him a person of interest in the trade market.

The long-discussed tie with the Indianapolis Colts and Frank Reich would have become a possibility again because quarterback Carson Wentz reportedly suffered injuries in both ankles in Sunday's game.

The Bears should be getting closer to a full roster this week, and this could include a possible return of nose tackle Eddie Goldman. He was labeled day to day by coach Matt Nagy, but the other return the Bears can expect is certain and that's Mario Edwards Jr. from suspension by the league for a PED policy violation.

The Bears already had made room for him Saturday when they placed tackle Larry Borom on injured reserve.

"That'll be good to be able to get him back here," Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday. "He put together a hell of a training camp with running around, flying around. I'm excited to see him get out here."

Bears defensive line coach Chris Rumph had been entirely impressed with Edwards after only a week of training camp.

"Man, this guy is a big ball of energy," Rumph said then. "He's always going, going, going."

Rumph said his only concern with Edwards was his fundamentals.

"I tell him, 'man, just because your car can go 100 mph you can't go 100 mph around a curve,' " Rumph said. "So he's trying to understand that what he brings to the table with his energy and his effort is just getting in control of it, knowing when to apply and when to back off of it."

Edwards made this impression coming off a 2020 season when he impressed Bears coaches and GM Ryan Pace with four sacks, seven quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and 17 total tackles. He'd been cut by the New Orleans Saints and the Bears picked him up. They liked what they saw of him enough to sign him to a three-year, $11.6 million contract.

Edwards plays a unique role for the defense as a reserve three-technique in their four-man defensive front when they are rushing the passer. At 6-foot-3, 280, he's smaller than most Bears interior defensive linemen but ideal size to play the gap-shooting three-technique spot.

If they have both Edwards and Goldman back, the defense can be all the more effective.

No additional injuries were reported from the game by the Bears and left tackle Jason Peters got through the game without further aggravating a quad injury he had which made him questionable for the game.

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