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Bears: Fields to Practice, Dalton Running with Starters, and More

Bears HC Matt Nagy provided updates on Justin Fields and Roquan Smith ahead of Wednesday's practice at Halas Hall.
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Justin Fields Bears

Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the Chicago Bears had their first meaningful news to report following the team's win on Thanksgiving. According to head coach Matt Nagy, Justin Fields is practicing on Wednesday. However, in a similar breath, Nagy confirmed that Andy Dalton was taking the reps with the starters in the event that Fields isn't ready.

Truthfully, this isn't a bad way to handle the situation. Reports surfaced following the Bears' loss to the Ravens that Fields has some cracked ribs. Ultimately, there is no reason to rush him if they believe he isn't ready. There's a reason the Bears have Dalton on the roster, and if the franchise quarterback of the future needs to rest, then let him do so. Dalton did a fine job entering in relief against Baltimore and in Chicago's win against the Lions. If he can play mistake-free football on Sunday, the Bears can keep the game close against Arizona.

As fans, it's natural to want to see Fields in the game, especially against Kyler Murray. However, Fields' long-term health is more important than one game on the schedule. At 4-7, the Bears need a miracle to make the playoffs anyway, so it's better to handle Fields with the future in mind.

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We'll certainly hear updates on Fields as the week progresses, but it is a positive sign seeing him return to the practice field.

Roquan Smith Update

In addition to the Justin Fields update on Wednesday, Matt Nagy provided an update on Roquan Smith, who left the Detroit game with a reported hamstring injury. According to Nagy, Smith will not practice on Wednesday, but the head coach does not believe an IR stint will be necessary.

For Smith and the Bears, this is encouraging news. Although losing their star linebacker against the Cardinals would be difficult, not losing Smith for what would possibly be the season is ideal. After losing players such as Danny Trevathan, Khalil Mack, and others to injuries, not losing the heartbeat of the defense long-term is key.

This season, Smith has 113 total tackles (70 solo) along with three sacks, eight tackles for a loss, and a pick-six. To say Smith isn't one of the most important players on the roster would be a blatant lie.

The Bears take on the Arizona Cardinals at noon on Sunday, December 5 at Soldier Field. The NFC-leading Cardinals present a tough task for the Bears. In addition, it will be intriguing to see if we get the Kyler Murray/Justin Fields matchup football fans want to see.