LAKE FOREST, Ill.
(AP) — Who coaches the Chicago Bears after Thursday seems to be the bigger topic now than who their starting quar- terback will be this week.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday Andy Dal- ton will start against the Detroit Lions for injured Justin Fields, then spent half of his press conference dealing with a report say- ing he has been told he will no longer coach the Bears after Thursday’s game.
“That is not accurate,” Nagy said of the report, which appeared on Patch.com.
The Bears have lost five straight and for three straight years have had losing streaks of four games or more. So Nagy’s job status going forward has been a hot debate throughout Chicago. Chants of “Fire Nagy,” were heard at times in Soldier Field during Sunday’s 16-13 loss to Baltimore — and even at the United Center during a Chicago Bulls game.
The report about the firing was by Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Konkol, a former news reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. It did not indicate a source.
Nagy said he normally talks on a regular basis with team general manager Ryan Pace, President Ted Phillips and board chair- man George McCaskey, but not this week as there were no meetings scheduled.
“We have constant communication,” Nagy said. “I always think it’s good and healthy and so we stayed on course. With the bye week and then with the short turnaround and with game prep we have not (talked).” The Bears have never fired a coach during midseason.
Dalton went through several years when such rumors haunted the Cincinnati Bengals about former coach Marvin Lewis, and often they proved untrue.
The focus for Dalton is making his first start since Week 2 against his old team, the Bengals.
“I always felt like I was prepared and ready to go this past week when I got the chance to go in there,” Dalton said “Obviously there were some good things that happened and some things … I wish I would have had back.”
Dalton replaced Fields after the starter suffered an injury to his ribs in the third quarter, and immediately threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney. Later he converted a fourth-and-11 pass for a 49-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin for a 13-9 Bears lead late in the fourth quarter. The defense gave up a winning final drive for the second straight game.
NOTES: The Bears placed slot cornerback Duke Shelley on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and elevated defensive lineman Margus Hunt from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. … Safety Eddie Jackson practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day and the Bears are hoping he can return from a ham- string injury suffered Oct. 31 against San Francisco.