January 29, 2022


Bears News

Bears vs. Cardinals: Everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s game

CHICAGO – The Bears will take on the NFC’s top team, the Arizona Cardinals, at noon Sunday at Soldier Field. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will start for the Bears. Rookie Justin Fields continues to work his way back from a rib injury.

Shaw Local Bears reporter Sean Hammond and NFL analyst Hub Arkush are reporting live from Soldier Field. Find Hammond on Twitter @sean_hammond and on Instagram at @bears_reporter, and follow Arkush on Twitter at @Hub_Arkush.

Catch up on everything you need to know ahead of the game right here.

Allen Robinson won’t play; Roquan Smith will

The Bears announced their inactive players ahead of Sunday’s game, and the list included receivers Allen Robinson and Marquise Goodwin. The Bears will be thin at the receiver position outside of top target Darnell Mooney.

Other inactives are quarterback Justin Fields, running back Damien Williams, defensive back Teez Tabor, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.

Hicks will miss his third consecutive game.

The list did not include inside linebacker Roquan Smith, who has been nursing a hamstring injury all week. That is good news for the Bears defense, which badly needs its star linebacker.

As expected, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins are both active.

Where’s Justin Fields?

Fields injured his ribs Nov. 21 against the Baltimore Ravens. He hasn’t played since, although he did return to practice in a limited capacity this week. Dalton started last week’s Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions and played well enough to pick up a 16-14 win, ending the Bears’ five-game losing streak.

Fields broke a rib or several ribs, according to coach Matt Nagy. The team has not announced how long Fields will be out. Returning to practice was a good sign, but his absence Sunday puts a damper on what could’ve been a fun matchup with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray.

Meanwhile, Murray has missed three straight games due to an ankle injury. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury told the NFL Network that Murray will start Sunday.

Will we see Teven Jenkins?

The Bears activated rookie offensive tackle Teven Jenkins on Saturday from injured reserve. Jenkins has missed the entire season, up to this point, with a back injury. He had back surgery in August and returned to practice three weeks ago.

The Bears traded up to draft Jenkins with the 39th overall pick in last spring’s draft.

It’s unclear how the Bears will use Jenkins. Veteran left tackle Jason Peters and rookie right tackle Larry Borom have held things down well at the tackle positions in recent weeks. The Bears might not want to mess with their mojo.

But with Jenkins being added to the active roster, he will almost certainly see the field at some point over the final six weeks of the season.

What to watch for from the Cardinals

Murray is expected to start, as is star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals have one of the most impressive offenses in football. With rain in the forecast at Soldier Field, it will be interesting to see how that affects the play from both teams.

Arkush provided his weekly preview, looking at X-factors, coaching decisions to watch and much more. Find that preview here.

Hammond wrote his top five things to watch in Sunday’s game. That is available here.

Was anybody brave enough to pick the Bears to beat the Cardinals. Our staff picks are available here.

Here’s what else you missed this week

Here’s what else was going on at Halas Hall in Lake Forest this week.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.