Quarterback Andy Dalton will make his first start in nearly a month in the Chicago Bears’ home finale at Soldier Field on Sunday against the New York Giants.
Dalton hasn’t played since a 33-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 5. He broke a bone in his non-throwing hand in that loss, had a hip flexor strain during his recovery and tested positive for COVID-19 — all in the last month.
Now Dalton, who is nearing the end of his one-year contract with the Bears, will try to lead the Bears to their first back-to-back wins since Oct. 3 and 10. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields continues to recover from an ankle injury and is listed as questionable. Nick Foles, who led the Bears to a comeback victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week, will back up Dalton.
“It’s kind of been a crazy month for me,” Dalton said. “But I feel good about where I’m at now and my body feels healthy. And so I’m happy to be where I’m at now rather than where I was a few weeks ago.”
The Giants have lost four straight without quarterback Daniel Jones, who has a neck injury. They could use former Bears quarterback Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm in the game.
Both the Bears and the Giants have been eliminated from playoff contention, but the game could have significant meaning for one Bears player. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn will try to break the Bears’ single-season sacks record of 17 1/2 set by Richard Dent in 1984. Quinn has 17 on the season.
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday and was listed as questionable to play in the game.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson returned from his bout with COVID-19 to practice during the week after losing 10 pounds and battling fatigue and congestion. Bears coach Matt Nagy said the Bears have been monitoring how the players feel as they return from the illness.
Jesper Horsted and Joel Iyiegbuniwe were the only players remaining on the COVID-19 list Saturday morning.
“A-Rob’s done a good job this week of being able to get into football shape,” Nagy said. “Doesn’t mean they’re not tired. There are other guys too that have come off that list that talk about how winded they get. That’s all real. So it’s just a matter of each guy saying, ‘OK, here’s where I’m at,’ and then you maybe limit some snaps too for the guys and work through that.”
In other injury news, tight end J.P. Holtz is doubtful because of personal reasons. In addition to Hicks and Fields, Eddie Goldman (finger), Duke Shelley (heel), and Jason Peters (ankle) are also questionable.
Miss anything this week? Catch up before today’s kickoff (noon, CBS).
- 5 things to watch for in the Bears’ home finale, including Andy Dalton’s start and Robert Quinn’s bid to break a franchise record — plus our Week 17 predictions
- As Bears tight end Jimmy Graham’s career reaches its twilight, he looks to leave a lasting legacy beyond the football field through flying — and helping
- Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson — who lost 10 pounds while recovering from COVID-19 — still is working his way back into game shape for a possible Soldier Field goodbye
- ‘He knows how to galvanize people’: If the Bears set out on a coaching search next month, Leslie Frazier should be on the radar
- When can the Bears start interviews? And who are some possible candidates? 8 questions about a potential coaching search as the new early window opens.
- Column: Bears and Giants have had similar struggles the last 10 years. And both teams are likely headed for some kind of a reboot this offseason.
- Bears Q&A: Will the franchise opt for a front-office model like the Bulls and Cubs have used? Will Nick Foles be back next season? What’s the reason behind Robert Quinn’s improvement?
- Justin Fields’ rookie season: Tracking the progress of the Bears QB in 2021
- Chicago sports communities — from the Bears to the Cubs’ Jed Hoyer — and NFL figures help raise more than $1 million for the son of late ESPN reporter Jeff Dickerson
- John Madden, Hall of Fame NFL coach and beloved broadcaster, dies at 85
- Devin Hester, the record-setting returner for the Bears, is among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Chicago sports in 2021: A look back at the biggest stories of the year
- Column: From the ‘ManningCast’ to Tim Anderson’s walk-off in the Field of Dreams game, here are the best TV moments from sports in 2021
Source: Berkshire mont