After Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton was injured in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, this week became a whole lot more interesting.
Rookie Justin Fields took over for Dalton in the win over Cincinnati, but now the question becomes just how long the veteran will be out of action. Initially, reports stated that Dalton will be “week to week” with a bone bruise.
However, the Bears have been very vague in regards to Dalton’s status. No official ruling on his Week 3 status has been made just yet.
One particular expert, though, has a different theory than most. Dr. David Chao, an ex-NFL team physician for 17 years and now known as one of the top names in the sports medicine industry, offered his professional analysis in a video he recently posted.
"“Everything about the bone bruise being non-contact is consistent. It’s the ends of the bone jammed against each other – the articular cartilage. The articular cartilage is precious. When it’s jammed together like that, there’s usually several weeks of rest. This is why it’s Justin Fields [time].”"
Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton may see Justin Fields take the reins for several weeks due to his injury.
The entire video can be seen below.
Dr. Chao says something that all Bears fans have been thinking since the moment Dalton was injured. He talks about the moment when Dalton is cleared and healthy. Does Dalton resume his starting job like coach Matt Nagy insists?
”…by then, Fields will probably have sealed the job,” Chao says.
“It won’t be Andy Dalton for the next several weeks. October, late October, is probably his best timeline for return.”
This is the one and only scenario that could have reversed course on Nagy’s plan to stick with Dalton during Fields’ rookie season. If Dalton is hurt, and remains out for a few weeks, then it’s Fields’ job to lose.
Should Fields start the next 2-4 games, and perform well enough to keep this team competitive, there will be less of a chance that Dalton can re-take his starting job. There will have been a rhythm established with Fields in practice for weeks at that point, as well as an obvious in-game chemistry established.
In short, there is no turning back now. This is Fields’ team, whether Nagy likes it or not. Nagy can continue to pull as many publicity stunts as he wants to, but the reality is, he’s going to be forced into making the best decision for his team, even if he doesn’t believe it to be true.
For the immediate future, and likely the long haul, this team is now under the command of this year’s no. 11 overall pick. It is time to see what this kid can do with consistent first team reps in practice and some in-game, regular season experience.
As the kids say these days, “It’s Justin Fields SZN.”