Justin Fields steps in for Chicago Bears after starting QB Andy Dalton suffers knee injury

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Justin Fields might be getting his opportunity to lead the Chicago Bears earlier than many expected.

The rookie quarterback stepped in for Andy Dalton in the second quarter of Sunday's 20-17 win against the Cincinnati Bengals after Dalton suffered a knee injury and did not return.

Dalton was hurt while being pushed out of bounds by Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell on a 14-yard scramble. He returned for the following series but then went to the locker room.

Dalton was 10-of-11 for 67 yards and a touchdown before leaving.

Fields completed 6 of 13 attempts for 60 yards but threw a fourth-quarter interception to Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson that helped Cincinnati cut the deficit to three points in the closing minutes.

He added 31 rushing yards on 10 carries.

“I don’t think I’m pleased with how I played at all,” Fields said after throwing for 60 yards. “I think there’s a lot more in me that I have to show. I know there’s gonna come a time. I know it’s not gonna happen overnight, so I’m just gonna keep grinding. No matter what happens, I know I’m meant for this. I’m meant to be here.”

Quarterback Justin Fields #1 talks with Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Chicago Bears talks before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field on September 19, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Quarterback Justin Fields #1 talks with Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Chicago Bears talks before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field on September 19, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Bears traded up to select Fields with the No. 11 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, and the Ohio State product sparked excitement from the fan base with his sterling performance in the preseason. But coach Matt Nagy remained committed to starting Dalton, the 11-year veteran the team signed this offseason after parting ways with Mitchell Trubisky.

Nagy would not address the short-term future at the position after the game.

“I’m not gonna get into any of that,” Nagy said.

The Associated Press contributed to this

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Andy Dalton injury: Justin Fields steps in for Chicago Bears