The news is official. Justin Fields will start for the Chicago Bears in their preseason finale Saturday against the Tennessee Titans.
Per Adam Hoge, Andy Dalton will not play, meanwhile Fields should get about two quarters of action.
This news makes things pretty clear cut. If Dalton is not playing in the team’s preseason finale, that cements him as the Week 1 starter. If there was ever any glimmer of hope whether or not Fields could supplant Dalton before Week 1, this puts it to bed.
Fields has zero chance of starting against the Los Angeles Rams. Head coach Matt Nagy made that crystal clear with this announcement today. Now, the countdown begins as to when Nagy will finally reverse course on Dalton.
Because Justin Fields is starting the Chicago Bears’ preseason finale, it means he now officially plays a waiting game.
After the second preseason contest last Saturday versus the Buffalo Bills, everyone came out and began criticizing and questioning Nagy regarding his quarterback “plan.” Whether it was national media, local media or even NFL veterans themselves, Nagy received a ton of flack.
It should be pretty evident by now that Fields gives this team the best chance to win, but one person still isn’t convinced — and unfortunately, that one person makes the decision. Somehow, some way, Nagy still believes Dalton gives the Bears the best chance to win.
Or, does he?
If Nagy admitted that Dalton’s performance and, ultimately wins, will determine when Fields suits up, doesn’t that hint at some doubt from the head coach? Nagy is essentially saying that Fields is going to play sometime this year — without specifically saying so.
It’s almost as if Nagy knows the Bears will eventually struggle under Dalton, but because of his pride, he has to stick to his guns and “do right” by Dalton, keeping him the starting quarterback.
Dalton is a great guy and teammate, but one has to feel bad for him at this point. We know exactly where this is headed. Bears fans are brutal when it comes to the quarterback position, and at the first sign of trouble from Dalton, it’s going to get ugly.
This situation is almost reminiscent of grade school traveling sports, where you have the coach’s son on the team or some kid who is real close with the coach. That coach feels obligated to play this kid, no matter what, just to try and “do the right thing.”
The problem is, this isn’t grade school sports. This isn’t a traveling basketball team where the coach’s son’s best friend happens to be joining the squad this year.
This is a professional football team that brings in millions of dollars each year and has hundreds of thousands of fans across the world wanting to see them win — and win now.
It’s been a long time coming for Bears fans. We have never seen a quarterback like Fields in Chicago. Unfortunately for us, the team is led by a clueless buffoon chock full of pride. Fields is going to have to wait a while longer — hopefully, somebody knocks some sense into Nagy sooner rather than later.