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Bears cap tumultuous week for Matt Nagy with narrow win over Lions – Chicago Bears Blog

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What a week for the Chicago Bears. After a dizzying couple of days in which coach Matt Nagy had to deny a report that he was on the verge of being fired, the Bears came out — on a short week of preparation — and eked out a win against the winless Detroit Lions.

Chicago’s 16-14 victory snaps a five-game losing streak and takes a tiny bit of pressure off Nagy, who is 7-1 lifetime versus Detroit.

With rookie quarterback Justin Fields sidelined because of injured ribs, veteran Andy Dalton led the Bears on four scoring drives, including a memorable fourth-quarter drive that ended with Cairo Santos’ 28-yard game-winning field goal.

The Bears (4-7) are nowhere near out of the woods, and remain buried in the NFC playoff picture, but Thursday’s win allows them to catch their breath after a tumultuous stretch.

QB Breakdown: Except for two errant throws in the end zone (one was picked off), Dalton played a solid game. The veteran became the first Bears quarterback to pass for 300-plus yards since Nick Foles in Week 9 of last season. Dalton finished the game 24-of-39 for 317 yards passing, one touchdown throw (to Jimmy Graham) and that one interception. For the Bears, that’s an impressive performance by a quarterback. Dalton did mostly everything right and stayed calm under pressure. That is how you expect a veteran to play under these circumstances.

Biggest hole in the game plan: David Montgomery ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns when these teams met in Week 4. Montgomery, however, was an afterthought much of Thursday, rushing for only 12 yards in the first half and finishing with 46 yards on 17 carries. Montgomery is too good to ignore. And Chicago’s running game is the best part of its offense. It’s difficult to figure out why Montgomery wasn’t used more often.

Bold prediction for next week: Fields starts at quarterback. The Bears want to be cautious with him (rib injury), but no doubt the rookie is anxious to return. Nagy said that Fields is still Chicago’s starting quarterback when healthy. If that is the case, Fields’ ribs ought to be healed enough for him to start at home versus the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 5.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love placed on COVID-19 list

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love, who has been taking most of the midweek practice reps while Aaron Rodgers treats and rests his fractured pinkie toe, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.

The team made the announcement on the day players returned to the facility from their bye week. Love, who has said he is vaccinated, would have been part of the group of players tested upon their return for their week off. Unvaccinated players who have not had COVID in the last 90 days would have been tested daily during the bye.

Love has taken only one game snap since his Nov. 7 start against the Kansas City Chiefs, the game Aaron Rodgers missed while he was on the COVID list. It was a kneel-down play on Nov. 21 against the Vikings, when Rodgers went into the locker room shortly before halftime to get treatment on his toe.

However, Love handled all the starting quarterback practice duties leading up to the Nov. 28 game against the Rams.

Rodgers elected not to have surgery on his toe during the bye week, but coach Matt LaFleur wasn’t ready to say whether Rodgers would practice much, if at all, this week in advance of Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.

“I know he was getting treatment and doing everything he can to be 100 percent,” LaFleur said Monday. “I still think it’s a process like anything, and we’ll see where he’s at this week. Hopefully we can get him out there at practice, but if not, we’ve got a lot of confidence in just his ability to go out there and play at a high level.”

The only other quarterback the Packers have is Kurt Benkert, who is on the practice squad. He, too, was on the COVID list this season, but returned to the team on Nov. 15.

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Las Vegas Raiders RB Kenyan Drake to have season-ending ankle surgery

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HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake will travel “in a few days” to undergo season-ending surgery on his broken right ankle in Birmingham, Alabama, Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said Monday in his weekly news conference.

Drake, who was carted off the field after being tackled and twisted down awkwardly from behind by Washington’s Daniel Wise midway through the second quarter of the Raiders’ 17-15 loss, took to Twitter Sunday night to say that the tackle that injured him “should be an illegal form of tackling like a horse collar.”

Bisaccia said Monday that Drake was frustrated since he suffered a similar injury last season, when he had a high right ankle sprain in Week 7 while playing for the Arizona Cardinals against the Seattle Seahawks. He missed one game with that injury.

“When you look at the play on tape, it did not look intentional,” Bisaccia said. “I think he got himself in a funky body position at the end, when he went to finish … the guy kind of rolled him over, got his ankle caught underneath there.

“Certainly, it ended up being a roll-up position at the end.”

Drake, 27, signed a two-year free-agent contract worth $14.5 million with $11 million guaranteed with the Raiders this offseason. A versatile change-of pace back to complement starter Josh Jacobs, Drake rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries and caught 29 passes for 283 yards and a TD. He also returned 10 kickoffs for 192 yards for the Raiders.

The Raiders have also lost fullback Alec Ingold for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee and backup running back Jalen Richard was placed on the COVID list the morning of the Washington game.



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Los Angeles Chargers put leading WR Keenan Allen on reserve/COVID-19 list

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Los Angeles Chargers leading receiver Keenan Allen was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, putting his availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in doubt.

Allen was one of 11 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by teams on Monday. All were the result of positive tests, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Allen, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past four seasons, leads the Chargers with 929 receiving yards this season and has four touchdown receptions.

If Allen is vaccinated, he will need two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic for 48 hours before he can return. If he is unvaccinated, Allen will have to stay away from the team for a minimum of 10 days.

The Chargers improved to 7-5 with their 41-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, a game in which Allen had two touchdown receptions.

Los Angeles is currently in second place in the AFC West standings.

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