It’s officially the Justin Fields show in Chicago.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced that Fields will be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward. Two days ago, Nagy said that the Ohio State product was still the backup and he was only playing because of Andy Dalton’s knee injury. However, he appeared to change his mind on Wednesday.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
“I told you the last couple of weeks we’ve some good conversations internally,” Nagy said told reporters. “It’s helped us in the last couple weeks. Continuing that process this week it’s led to making the decision to move with Justin as the starter.”
In his NFL debut against the Cleveland Browns back in Week 3, Fields completed 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards and was sacked nine times. However, he rebounded last week against the Detroit Lions by completing 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards in the team’s 24-14 victory over their NFC North rivals.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) walks off the field after the Cleveland Browns defeated the Bears in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
“We’ve been patient with this, we’ve grown with him, we’re proud of Justin,” Nagy added. “He’s been a great teammate from the very beginning.”
In free agency, the Bears signed Dalton to be the team’s starter. However, when the NFL Draft came, Chicago moved up from No. 20 to No. 11 in the first round to take Fields. Initially, Nagy said that the starting job was Dalton’s until the coaching staff felt Fields was ready to play.
After Dalton suffered the injury in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Fields was inserted into the lineup and now has the opportunity to keep the job moving forward.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) carries the ball and is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
“The plan and the process that we had going into this was important for to understand, and then when Andy unfortunately got hurt with his knee, that sped the process up,” Nagy said.
The Bears (2-2) will travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders (3-1) on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.