Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will start Thursday’s game against the Lions. Rookie Justin Fields, though, remains at the top of the Bears’ depth chart whenever he’s healthy, head coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday.
Fields hurt his ribs in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. He was replaced by Dalton, who had taken only three snaps since Week 2, and completed 11-of-23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a passer rating of 107.3.
“We’re fortunate to have Andy Dalton,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said.
Nagy was quicker to name Fields the starter than he was earlier this season, when he insisted that Dalton was atop his depth chart even after he suffered a bone bruise in his knee against the Bengals.
With Fields likely out Thursday, third-stringer Nick Foles figures to suit up for the first time since Dalton was hurt. Foles has yet to take a snap for the Bears this season.
Fields sitting Thursday isn’t surprising; the benefit of giving him an extra 10 days to rest his ribs for the Dec. 5 game against the Cardinals outweighed rushing him back.
“We’ve just gotta see where his ribs are at,” Nagy said. “I think it’s day-by-day. But he’s been doing pretty good and we’ve just gotta keep an eye on it.”