Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy reminded everyone on Monday that Andy Dalton will be the starter when healthy, but on Wednesday, Nagy named rookie quarterback Justin Fields the starter moving forward.
Dalton started the first two games for the Bears before injuring his knee during the team’s Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and is still recovering. Up until Wednesday, Nagy was clear that Dalton would remain the starter when he was healthy enough to play.
“I told you the last couple of weeks we’ve had some good conversations internally, it’s helped us …,” Nagy said. “Continuing that process this week, it’s led to making the decision to move with Justin as a starter.”
Nagy said the team has been patient with the process and grown with the rookie, although it is not known what changed in the last 48 hours for Nagy to change his mind.
“We’re proud of Justin, he’s been a great teammate from the very beginning and I think what needs to be understood is that from Justin’s side, you know with the injury, is the plan and the process we had going into this was important to understand,” Nagy said on Wednesday. “When Andy, unfortunately, got hurt, that sped the plan up …”
Nagy said Fields has done everything to show the team he is ready for the opportunity.
Nagy said he can’t say enough good things about Dalton and the quarterback is as good as they get, but that Fields has earned this opportunity.
Fields made his second NFL start on Sunday, and he completed 11-of-17 passes for 209 yards with one interception and an 82.7 passer rating. The Bears beat the Lions 24-14. In Fields’ first start, the Bears fell to the Browns, and the former Ohio State QB completed only 6-of-20 passes for 68 yards and got X-rays on his throwing hand afterward.
Fields was sacked nine times as the Bears averaged 1.1 yards per play, one of the worst figures for a team this century, Yahoo Sports reports. Fields didn’t get a lot of help from Nagy’s play-calling or the Bears’ offensive line.
But after the loss, Nagy handed play-calling duties over to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and things seem to be looking better.
The Bears (2-2, 0-2 Away) will travel to face the Las Vegas Raiders (3-1, 2-0 Home) at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday for Week 5’s matchup with kickoff set for 4:05 p.m.
Bears vs Raiders Odds & Spread
All NFL regular betting lines, odds and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Moneyline: CHI: (+168) | LV: (-200)
Spread: CHI: +5.5 (-114) | LV: -5.5 (-106)
Total: 45.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
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