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NFC North Rundown: After injury to Dalton, the future should be now for the Bears at QB

Justin Fields may make his highly-anticipated starting debut earlier than expected, pending Andy Dalton’s knee injury.

Cincinnati Bengals v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With a high-octane offensive performance in the second half, coupled with an improved defensive effort, the Green Bay Packers (1-1) were able to bounce back and win their first game of the season.

The 35-17 win over Detroit moved the Packers into an early tie with the Chicago Bears atop the NFC North standings a week after a miserable season-opening loss. On a short week, the Packers will travel to the West Coast to take on the undefeated San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, while the Lions look to get into the win column without another injured starting cornerback.

As for the Bears, they will have some serious decisions to make at quarterback this week if Andy Dalton is unable to play. Starting Justin Fields now would make it difficult for Chicago to transition back to Dalton later and that notion is explored further in today’s rundown. Plus, another missed field goal as time expires dooms Minnesota and leaves the Vikings in an unwanted 0-2 predicament.

Detroit Lions (0-2)

Lost 35-17 at Green Bay; Next vs. Baltimore

RECAP: Lions at Packers

Here is the game story from the other sideline, complete with the key turning point moment in the contest.

Detroit Lions’ Derrick Barnes ‘deserves a shot’; Dan Campbell explains clock management

After just five defensive snaps in the first two games, the rookie Barnes is expected to see increased time against the Ravens. Also, the Lions’ head coach details what went into his decision to drain the clock at the end of the first half.

Lions’ Ifeatu Melifonwu suffers ‘bad’ injury in Week 2 loss to Packers, expected to miss multiple games

With an already-thin cornerback group after the loss of Jeff Okudah in Week 1, the Lions have lost another starting boundary corner after Week 2 for an extended period of time.


Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

Lost 34-33 at Arizona; Next vs. Seattle

Terrible clock management costs the Vikings a crucial win in Week 2

Conservatively settling for a field goal on the final drive bit the Vikings, but so did a decision right before halftime. Both situations led to a close loss for Minnesota.

Mike Zimmer defends Greg Joseph as kicking woes continue to haunt Vikings

A missed 37-yard field goal by Joseph added to a long history of missed crucial field goals for the Vikings since Gary Anderson’s 1998 miss in the NFC Championship Game.

9 Questions facing the Minnesota Vikings after an 0-2 start

A surprise wide receiver has entered the third-receiver mix, while Anthony Barr’s injury status has left the door open for Nick Vigil to find a home on defense.


Chicago Bears (1-1)

Won 20-17 vs. Cincinnati; Next at Cleveland

Instant analysis of Bears’ 20-17 win vs. Bengals in Week 2

The Bears’ defense rebounded in Week 2 behind improvements from its stars, and Chicago came out with a win despite losing its quarterback.

Once Bears turn to Justin Fields at QB, there’s no going back

While additional news is awaited on Andy Dalton’s knee injury, the Bears may have to “expedite” the process of making Fields the team’s franchise quarterback now and into the immediate future.

After a late start with the Bears, Jason Peters works on his game as the season goes along

Without the usual warm-up-to-action period of offseason workouts, Peters is adjusting with his new team on the fly and has had to put in extra work to get his body in shape for starting left tackle work.