With veteran quarterback Andy Dalton still sidelined with a knee injury and rookie QB Justin Fields dealing with a sore throwing hand, the Chicago Bears are working out a trio of free agent quarterbacks.
The Bears brought QBs Ryan Willis, Jake Dolegala and Peyton Ramsey in for tryouts this week, as first reported by PFF’s Doug Kyed.
Dalton, who the team has yet to place on injured reserve, is week-to-week, according to Bears head coach Matt Nagy. As for Fields, he dinged his hand a bit at the end of Chicago’s Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns, and while x-rays were negative and it’s not broken, the team may be exercising extreme caution with its coveted first-round pick.
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Nagy Has Left Week 4 Starter Up in the Air
Fields is fresh from his first career start, and considering he was sacked a whopping nine times by the Browns defense, it’s no surprise he was a bit beat up after the game. With some medical experts expecting Dalton to be out at least a few weeks into October, it’s legitimate to wonder whether the Red Rifle may be headed to IR. Nagy has said that shouldn’t be the case, but the Bears coach hasn’t exactly been upfront about the team’s injury issues this season, so we’ll see what happens.
After revealing x-rays were negative on Fields’ throwing hand, the Bears coach was asked whether the rookie would make his second consecutive start, or whether third-stringer Nick Foles might be a possibility. “They’re all three under consideration right now,” Nagy said on September 27, via NBC Sports. “We know where Nick’s at health-wise, but we just want to keep an eye on Justin and Andy.”
Considering Chicago is looking at several QBs, a subsequent roster move or practice squad addition may be in the team’s near future.
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Ryan Willis, Jake Dolegala & Peyton Ramsey: A Bit of Background
None of the three QBs Chicago brought in for tryouts have played a down in an NFL game. Ramsey played at Indiana from 2017-19 before transferring to Northwestern for the 2020 season. Over his college career, he completed 65.2% of his passes for 8,314 yards, 54 touchdowns and 31 interceptions, while also rushing for 1,079 yards and 17 scores.
Willis played at Kansas from 2015-16, and he transferred to Virginia Tech for his junior and senior seasons in 2018-19. He completed 57.1% of his passes for 6,152 yards, 44 touchdowns and 31 picks, and he ran for 298 yards and six TDs. He caught on with the Linemen of The Spring League in May 2021, which was the last time he played.
Dolegala has bounced around the NFL for the last few years. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an UDFA in 2019, and spent the season on the team’s 53-man roster, although he never played in a game. He was waived by the Bengals in 2020, and the New England Patriots signed him to their practice squad shortly after, and he spent the rest of the season with them. He landed with both the Green Bay Packers and Patriots for a second stint this summer, but both stays were short-lived.
Dolegala played his college ball for the Central Connecticut Blue Devils, where he threw for 8,129 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions, while also rushing for 452 yards and 18 scores on the ground.