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Chicago Bears will make game-time decision on whether Andy Dalton or Justin Fields start

The Chicago Bears will give Andy Dalton every opportunity to play, waiting until Sunday to announce a starter against the Detroit Lions.

Dalton was limited again in practice Friday and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. But he and coach Matt Nagy both said he is progressing in the recovery from a bone bruise on his left knee, with Dalton saying he feels “really good where I’m at.”

“I did some things out there and felt good about where I was,” he said. “… It’s been improving every day. The whole thing is if we can keep this thing improving every day, we’ll be in a good spot.”

Knowing Dalton’s knee is sound structurally will be a factor in the decision of who starts. So, too, whether Dalton is confident enough in the knee that he won’t be thinking about the injury when he plays, Nagy said.

“When go through a knee injury and have dropbacks and have handoffs, you want to have ultimate trust in knowing you’re not thinking about that injury when you’re playing,” said Nagy, a former quarterback. “Once you get by that, you can start playing football.”

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Dalton missed last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Rookie Justin Fields started in the veteran’s place, and the Bears offense was a debacle in the 26-6 loss. Fields was sacked nine times, including a Browns record 4.5 sacks by Myles Garrett, and Chicago finished with just one yard passing.

Fields also hurt his hand in the loss. It’s still taped, but he’s been able to practice fully all week.

Nagy said the delay in naming a starter isn’t a reflection on Fields or a judgment about last weekend’s performance. Rather, Nagy has said all along that Dalton is the team’s No. 1 starter. If he’s able to play, he will.

“It means a lot. That’s what I was told when I first got here,” Dalton said. “It just shows the confidence they have in me, what I can bring and what I can do for this team.”

Fields said he’s not bothered by the indecision, though he would “of course” rather be starting. If he doesn’t, Fields said he’ll still prepare as if he was going to – as any No. 2 should.

“It’s not hard, it’s not complicated. You’ve just got to do it,” Fields said. “Things happen in life where they might not go your way or they might not happen the way you want them to, but you can’t control that. So control the things you can control.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chicago Bears giving Andy Dalton every chance to start against Lions

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