ESPN's Todd Archer reports that the Cowboys have placed QB Andy Dalton on the COVID list and that he'll miss at least Week 9. That means another start for rookie Ben DiNucci. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on the radio this week that Sunday night's game at Philly was "too much" for the rookie. We'll see how he likes an even tougher pass rush from Pittsburgh.
Update: NFL Network's Tom Pelissero says the Cowboys won't go back to DiNucci this week. Instead, Cooper Rush and Garrett Gilbert will compete in practice for the start against Pittsburgh.
Bears HC Matt Nagy reiterated after Saturday's preseason game against the Bills that QB Andy Dalton is his Week 1 starter. Dalton played the entire 1st half of that game vs. Buffalo, finishing 11 of 17 for 146 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. But most of his damage came on a 73-yard score to WR Rodney Adams that was actually a tad underthrown. Outside of that, Dalton totaled just 73 yards on 4.6 yards per attempt. QB Justin Fields played the 2nd half, completing 9 of 19 passes for 80 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs. He made numerous plays with his legs, finishing with 46 yards on 4 carries. It’s clear to us who Chicago’s best option is at QB -- and we still expect to see Fields under center early this season.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Bears QB Andy Dalton has taken every 1st-team rep in training camp. “I have a ton of experience, I’ve seen so much in this game, in this league,” Dalton said via SI. “I’m trying to help him [Justin Fields] out as much as I can, but also, I’m not worried about what he’s doing. I’m worried about what I’m doing, and how I’m gonna help this team win games. Now, there are times when he’ll take a rep and I’ll see something and I can help along the way. But at the end of the day, I’m not focused on Justin. I’m focused on me and what I can do to help this team win.” As expected, Fields has handled all 2nd-team reps ahead of Nick Foles. And according to Breer, HC Matt Nagy’s plan is to play Fields “a lot” in the preseason. That’ll at least give the rookie a chance to close the gap.
In an interview with Cris Collinsworth, Bears HC Matt Nagy said “Andy [Dalton] is our starter … Justin [Fields] is our #2, and we’re going to stick to this plan.” Time will tell on that one. But if the plan holds and Dalton starts, he’ll face tough road tests early on: Week 1 at Rams, Week 3 at Browns. We still see Fields starting the majority of Chicago’s games this fall. See where the rookie sits in our QB Rankings.
Bears HC Matt Nagy isn't giving anything to 1st-round pick Justin Fields before he earns it. "Andy is the starter," Nagy reiterated this week, according to NFL.com. "Andy's going to get the one reps." It's no shock that Dalton will open full-team workouts as the starter. What will be worth watching is how soon Fields claims some of those reps. Nagy said Fields needs to speed up his pre-snap recognition and improve at reading defenses. "He's going to get a great opportunity to do that against our defense," Nagy said. "I think that's where we're going to have to see, are there a lot of mistakes being made? Or are there a lot of good plays that are being made? And is it natural and is it easy for him? That's what what we'll evaluate." History says Fields will take over this offense at some point before the 2021 season ends, but Nagy was the OC in Kansas City when Patrick Mahomes sat for a year behind Alex Smith. We'll certainly be watching this situation throughout summer.
NFL Network reports that the Bears are expected to sign QB Andy Dalton to a 1-year deal worth $10 million, with a $12.5 million max. That sounds like the contract Ryan Fitzpatrick is getting in Washington and points to Dalton likely taking over the starting gig. Dalton is a better option than Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky but doesn't present a big upgrade to the fantasy outlooks of other guys in the Chicago offense.
Update: "They told me I was the starter," Dalton said, according to Adam Jahns of The Athletic.
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