After suffering an injury and losing his starting job earlier this season, Chicago Bears quarterback and former TCU standout Andy Dalton was called upon to bring his team back against the Baltimore Ravens after rookie Justin Fields exited the game with a rib injury.
With the Bears trailing 6-0 in the third quarter, Dalton made his presence felt immediately, connecting with speedster Darnell Mooney for a 60-yard touchdown pass to put Chicago ahead 7-6. After Baltimore slipped ahead 9-7 on a Justin Tucker field goal, Dalton made his biggest play of the afternoon late in the fourth quarter, finding Marquise Goodwin on a fourth-and-11 throw that resulted in a 49-yard, go-ahead touchdown reception.
Andy Dalton. RAVENS KILLER.pic.twitter.com/g4qIZXNclS— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 21, 2021
Dalton’s second touchdown of the day gave the Bears a 13-9 advantage. But in typical Bears fashion, the team failed to hold on and win the game, with the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens marching down the field and scoring on Devonta Freeman’s 3-yard touchdown run. While the Bears fell 16-13 and dropped to 3-7 overall, Dalton has a chance to be the team’s starter for the near future as the severity of the Fields injury remains unknown. The former Horned Frog finished the game 11-of-23 for 201 yards and no turnovers in the loss.
Dalton signed a one-year contract with the Bears after spending last season as Dak Prescott’s backup for the Dallas Cowboys. After turning in a respectable performance as a QB2, Chicago brought Dalton aboard to be the team’s QB1 before trading up and selecting Fields in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s a strategy Bears GM Ryan Pace has used in the past after giving Mike Glennon a three-year deal before trading up to take Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Should Fields be forced to miss an extended period of time, Dalton will likely be Chicago’s starting quarterback for next week’s matchup and beyond. The veteran quarterback hasn’t played much this season, throwing three touchdowns and one interception, but his experience could be helpful as the Bears attempt to snap a five-game losing streak.