Bears quarterback Andy Dalton did not tear his ACL, coach Matt Nagy said Monday morning. The team is awaiting further testing before being able to decide whether he or rookie Justin Fields will start, he said.
For the second-straight day, Nagy declined to say whether Dalton would start were he healthy. Nagy claimed that was a scheme-related question; his policy is that he typically does not engage on such questions.
Dalton hurt his left knee early in the second quarter Sunday when he stepped awkwardly along the Bears sideline after running out of bounds. He tumbled to the ground and then pointed at Fields to get into the game.
Nagy said after the game that the Bears believed he avoided the worst-case scenario of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He confirmed it Monday.
NFL Network said that testing didn’t show ligament damage and speculated that he could have a bone bruise, the result of his femur and tibia banging together. That would likely cost Dalton a couple weeks.
Dalton had looked sharp in the home opener, completing 9-of-11 passes for 56 yards and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson on the game’s first drive.
The Bears limited the playbook with the rookie on the field after he spent the week running the scout team.
“I just try to have the mentality of, ‘Play like practice,'” he said. “When I’m out on the practice field with my teammates, I try to play every play like a game. And I just try to keep that calm mindset and calm mentality to not make the moment bigger than it is and just go out there and play football. Because that’s all it is, at the end of the day.”