Bear Necessities: Andy Dalton ready for challenge against Cardinals

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This is our online morning newsletter, Bear Necessities. Subscribe to get the latest Bears news delivered to your mailbox every day.

With Justin Fields sidelined with cracked ribs, veteran Andy Dalton will make his second straight start at quarterback for the Bears. Last week, Chicago got the worst team in the NFL against the Lions. This week, the best team in the Cardinals.

While Arizona has been hailed for their offense, and rightfully so, their defense has been a big factor in the team’s success. The Cardinals are ranked fifth in total defense, fourth in points allowed and have the sixth-most sacks in the NFL.

Still, Dalton says the Bears are ready for the challenge.

“Every game you play there are things that are difficult,” Dalton said. “It’s never just easy out there. We know the [defense] we’re playing against. I feel like we’ve had a really good week of work. Now it comes down to getting ready on Sunday to show what we can do.”

Believe it or not, Chicago is still in the thick of the NFC wild-card race, where they’re just one game out of that final seventh seed, which gives even more meaning to this game.

But Dalton also has an opportunity to make a case for himself as a starter for another team next season. Especially against this talented Cardinals defense.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be out there,” Dalton said. “It’s a lot more fun to play than to be sitting on the sidelines. I’m just trying to make the most of it. I’m trying to do everything I can to help this team win, and the rest of all that will take care of itself.”

> Bears expected to activate OT Teven Jenkins on Saturday, will be available vs. Cardinals

> There’s still a chance Bears LB Roquan Smith could suit up vs. Cardinals

> Bears will start QB Andy Dalton vs. Cardinals, Justin Fields not medically cleared

> Analyzing Bears’ final injury report for Week 13 against Cardinals

> Bears vs. Cardinals predictions: Does Chicago stand a chance to pull off an upset?

> 6 burning questions for Bears against the Cardinals in Week 13

> 2022 NFL draft: Prospects to watch during conference championship weekend

> Things to know ahead of Bears-Cardinals Week 13 matchup

> Analyzing Packers’ 2021 rookie class at the bye week. Read more on Packers Wire.

> Vikings WR Adam Thielen, WR Justin Jefferson among the most reliable pass catchers in the NFL. Read more on Vikings Wire.

> The Lions will honor Oxford High School shooting victims on Sunday. Read more on Lions Wire.

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