Bears’ Matt Nagy doesn’t commit to QB Justin Fields starting against Lions if he’s healthy


Welcome to everyone’s least favorite game: Matt Nagy won’t say who his starting quarterback is.

As if the Bears didn’t exude enough an appearance of disorganization and dysfunction, they went straight back into indecision after Justin Fields left the Ravens 16-13 defeat with bruised ribs, according to NFL Network, and Andy Dalton l ‘replaced .

When Nagy was asked in September if Dalton would be reinserted as a starter once his knee was healthy, he had no reluctance to say he would, although he didn’t. obviously not held to that. But now, after Fields fought against the Ravens, Nagy has not given a concrete answer despite being repeatedly asked if Fields will start against the Lions on Thursday if he is in good health.

“I’m not getting into any of this,” Nagy said.

When simple questions meet back door answers, Nagy only breeds doubt as to her ability to handle the job. There are degrees of injury, so it’s reasonable that Nagy would want to see how much mobility Fields has before making the decision, but it should still be easy to tell that it’s Fields’ job if he’s healthy. .

Fields couldn’t do anything for the Bears before his exit in the third quarter. He went 4 for 11 passes for 79 yards and ran four times for 23 yards. It was a disheartening follow-up to his late-game push that nearly beat the Steelers.

His absence, as long as it lasts, makes a gloomy season even more gloomy. The next two months were meant to be the Bears – lighting up their bright future with Fields as quarterback, so that’s unfortunate.

In fact, it depends on who you ask.

Dalton was happy to be back – “I had a great time there,” he said at a triumphant press conference – and it should be noted that Nagy’s original plan was to launch Dalton all season and keep Fields in a gadget role. It was only after Fields showed undeniable potential with two starts on the spot and Nagy faced a storm of criticism for his intention to send him back to the bench that he gave in and made Fields the incumbent. permanent.

To his credit, Dalton unleashed an offense that was lifeless until he checked midway through the third quarter. He threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney in his second snap, then gave the Bears a 13-9 lead on his 49-yard spiral to Marquise Goodwin in the fourth and 11 with 1:48 remaining.

“I want to congratulate Andy Dalton for being able to come into this game in this environment and for going straight away,” said Nagy. “In a crucial situation, for him, playing like he did shows who he is as a quarterback, who he is as a person.”

It would be too hard to dismiss Dalton’s performance altogether – 11 for 23 for 201 yards and two touchdowns for a 107.3 passer rating – but it’s fair to point out that both touchdowns were on throws no matter what. what an NFL quarterback might have made, including Des Champs.

While throwing a 60-yard touchdown pass seemed like a splash, it was all Mooney and blocking. Dalton screened him two yards behind the line of scrimmage, Mooney got good blocks – early from tight ends Jesse James and Cole Kmet, then crossed three potential tacklers to reach the end zone.

On Goodwin’s score, he was five yards away and the Ravens had no depth safety to recover him.

Other than that, the offense looked like it was when Dalton originally held the position: limited. It was the same quick passing pattern that didn’t allow the Bears to move early in the season. And coming back to that, Dalton won’t accomplish anything.


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