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Nagy names rookie quarterback Fields Bears starter over Dalton

Justin Fields has been promoted to the QB1 of the Chicago Bears, despite head coach Matt Nagy naming Andy Dalton the starter in the preseason.

Update:
Justin Fields has been promoted to the QB1 of the Chicago Bears, despite head coach Matt Nagy naming Andy Dalton the starter in the preseason.
JONATHAN DANIELAFP

Matt Nagy held off for as long as he could, but Wednesday he announced what many Chicago fans were hoping to hear since draft day. Justin Fields will replace Andy Dalton as the Bears starting quarterback.

Nagy changes heart, names Fields starter

Andy Dalton was originally named the starter coming out of preseason, but the former Cincinnati quarterback has been battling a knee injury since Week 2. Nagy was adamant that once Dalton returned from his knee injury, he would return under center as the Bears QB1.

The organization, and the head coach were both in agreement that Fields should be named the undisputed starter after last week’s showing in the 24-14 win over the Lions.

"After this past weekend with Justin and the growth that we saw, the discussions that we had was to be able to go in this direction," Nagy said.

Fields impressed last week vs Lions

The rookie quarterback went 11 of 17 for 209 yards against Detroit, with deep balls for over 20 plays or more. This came after an awful performance where Fields went 6 of 20 for just 68 yards in Chicago’s 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Dalton suffering a bone bruise in Week 3 certainly expedited Fields’ promotion to the starter the Windy City.

"It is a big decision, but we feel very good about it and are looking forward to it," Nagy said.

Fields has a completion percentage of 48.1% and has thrown for 347 yards and two interceptions over his first few games as the Bears quarterback. While he is still looking for his first passing touchdown he has ran 55 yards on 17 attempts and has a rushing touchdown.

Future of franchise in Fields' hands

The Bears believe that Fields is the man for the job, not just putting them in the best position to win now, but also looking at building towards the future.

"The No. 1 thing that I understood as a head coach and that we all understood as an organization is knowing that when you make a trade up to go get a guy to develop and be the franchise quarterback, you always know that there's going to be that want to get him in there ASAP," Nagy said.

"At the same point in time, again, we had our plan with Andy and developing Justin. And so, I think that for me, I knew it came with the territory, and all we wanted to do was do everything we can to do what's best for this team. And again, I'd be lying to you if I sat here and told you it wasn't really hard to have that discussion with Andy. Those are not easy discussions because there's the human side of it, and I don't care who you are, if you've got a good heart, that stuff hurts."

Fields surprised, but not too surprised

Fields says the decision to name him the Bears starter this early in the season came as a bit of a shock, "I would say I was a little bit surprised, but I mean, not really crazy surprised. But definitely a little bit of surprise. I feel like he was pretty straightforward with me and Andy. And I think my teammates believe in me, so just grateful for the opportunity and just trying to get ready to work."

Dalton is expected to be health enough to be listed as the Bears second sting quarterback this Sunday against the Raiders. After making the decision, Nagy expressed his admiration for Dalton.

"One thing that Andy has earned from me and our coaches is a hell of a lot of respect, because that guy is a freaking stud," Nagy said. "I'm so glad he is on our team and I appreciate the way he understood it and the way he handled it, but he also cares immensely about this team and I appreciate that."

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