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Bears QB Justin Fields fourth in NFL jersey sales since Aug. 1, ahead of Patrick Mahomes

As the Bears move forward with Andy Dalton as their starter, Fields is emerging as one of the most popular players in the league.

The Bears traded up to take Fields No. 11 overall in April.
AP Photos

The backup quarterback is usually the most popular guy in town, but in the Bears’ case, Justin Fields is one of the most popular guys in the entire league.

As Fields prepares to start the season on the bench behind Andy Dalton, his jersey has been the fourth-hottest seller with NFL retail partner Fanatics since Aug. 1. He’s one spot ahead of Patrick Mahomes.

At all three of the Bears’ preseason games, including one in Nashville, Tennessee, Fields’ No. 1 has been ubiquitous in the stands, as well as at training camp at Halas Hall.

“I’m starting to get used to it now,” Fields said last month. “It’s just cool seeing fans wearing my jersey and seeing the support.”

Bills Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen led in sales, followed by Patriots rookie Mac Jones, who went four spots after Fields in the draft. Buccaneers star Tom Brady was third, then Fields and Mahomes.

Everyone in the top five other than Fields is a starting quarterback.

Goldman ailing, Tonga rising

It’s looking more likely that the Bears won’t have nose tackle Eddie Goldman against the Rams in what would’ve been his first game since the 2019 season. He missed his second consecutive practice Thursday.

Coach Matt Nagy said Goldman “tweaked” his knee during a light practice Monday and his availability for Sunday was unknown. If he’s out, the Bears would probably turn to rookie Khyiris Tonga.

Tonga, a seventh-rounder from BYU, was the 10th-to-last player taken in the draft at No. 250 overall. He established himself as at least a rotational player almost immediately in training camp.

“He’s just a hard worker and tough as nails, so you love that about him,” Nagy said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked. He’s created a lot of depth for us.”

Cabo trip

The Bears are facing Matt Stafford this week because of a deal that came together while Stafford and Rams coach Sean McVay were having drinks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in January. Coach Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers also was in Cabo that week as his team was trying to pry Stafford from the Lions.

And so was Nagy — “ironically,” as he put it.

He offered that only when asked if he remembered where he was and how he reacted to the trade, though he insisted it was just a vacation with his wife.

“I think it might have been a coincidence,” he said.

The Bears were interested in Stafford once it became clear the Lions were looking to trade him, but the Rams won the bidding with a package of two first-round picks, a third-rounder and quarterback Jared Goff.

Nothing to see here?

Three key players were limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but Nagy said there’s no concern about them missing the Rams game: outside linebackers Khalil Mack (groin) and Robert Quinn (back) and wide receiver Darnell Mooney (back).

One new injury popped up on the report Thursday. Starting safety Tashaun -Gipson was limited because of a back injury. Gipson was one of the Bears’ most reliable players last season and was in for 98.4% of the defensive snaps.