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NFL: Bears QB Nick Foles to make season debut at Seattle

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The Chicago Bears are handing the quarterback reins to St. Nick this Christmas weekend at Seattle.

Head coach Matt Nagy announced Friday that Nick Foles will make his season debut and start this Sunday when the Bears (4-10) face the Seahawks (5-9).

Rookie quarterback Justin Fields is dealing with an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision for backup duties, while veteran Andy Dalton is fresh off the reserve/COVID-19 list and unavailable due to hand and groin injuries.

Fields got hurt in the second quarter of Monday night’s 17-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings but kept playing.

“When you’re playing in the game, you’ve got a bunch of adrenaline going,” Fields said. “So (the second quarter) is when I first felt it, but I was still good enough to play through it. Of course, it got worse after the game and the next morning. But it felt better (Wednesday) morning.”

Nagy had been optimistic that Fields, who missed Weeks 12-13 with cracked ribs, would be able to play Sunday.

“You always want to be smart … just like we treat every injury with every player,” Nagy said earlier in the week. “We’ll be more cautious than anything to make sure that every day and every hour that passes that he’s feeling better. Obviously, he played through it, so now we’ve just got to see how it goes and see where he’s at the rest of the week.”

Foles, 32, went 2-5 as a starter for Chicago last season, completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,852 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

While the Bears have been eliminated from playoff contention, the Seahawks still have faint hopes, even after Tuesday’s 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Russell Wilson, who missed three games earlier this season after undergoing finger surgery, had his worst Pro Football Focus grade of his 10-year career Tuesday, going 17 of 31 for 156 yards with no touchdowns and a late interception.

“He’s still got a finger in his throwing hand that is on the rebound,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I’m not trying to give him an excuse, and he would never want that. He feels like he’s fine. But the fact remains he’s still got to deal with that.”

Wilson also suffered an ankle injury during Tuesday’s game.

“He’s sore,” Carroll said. “It’s a short week, so it could be a factor, but it’s not gonna keep Russ from playing. I don’t think that’s the case at all. So he should be all right.”

Two Seahawks starters, guard Gabe Jackson (knee) and defensive tackle Al Woods (shoulder), are dealing with injuries.

Receiver Tyler Lockett, running back Alex Collins, right tackle Brandon Shell and cornerback D.J. Reed were among seven players who missed Tuesday’s game while in the COVID-19 protocol.

Bears receiver Jakeem Grant and cornerback Xavier Crawford are dealing with concussions, and offensive tackle Jason Peters (ankle) also has missed practice time. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks was placed on the COVID list on Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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