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Are Chicago Bears making a big mistake by starting Justin Fields?

Andrew Buller-Russ

Today the Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced their first-round rookie quarterback Justin Fields would be the starter going forward. This comes after QB1 Andy Dalton has dealt with a knee injury, preventing him from playing.

However, all along, whether it was after trading up to select Fields or even as recently as two days ago, coach Nagy has maintained that Dalton is the starting quarterback for the Bears. But not anymore.

After two starts, Fields will be the starting quarterback in Chicago going forward. Or at least for now.

Chicago Bears have more options than Dalton and Justin Fields

NFL: Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans
Aug 28, 2021; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans. during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

But is Nagy making a mistake by rushing to anoint Fields as the starter? Remember, Nick Foles is still on the roster, being paid roughly $8 million per year to be the third quarterback through 2022.

I’m not advocating for the Bears to make Foles the starter instead, but why else have the veteran on the roster if they don’t want to play him? Dalton isn’t out for the season. He’ll be back likely in a few weeks, if not sooner from his knee injury.

Nagy doesn’t seem committed to operating an offense built around his talented rookie’s skillsets, refusing to use his quarterback’s athleticism. Wouldn’t a one-game stopgap start by Foles make a bit more sense, according to Nagy’s own comments stating Dalton would be his starter?

Justin Fields has potential, but he hasn’t wowed anyone

Fields has flashed moments where he looks special, but so far they have been too few to rush him into the starting role. Let’s be honest, the Bears aren’t going anywhere this season, no matter who the QB1 is.

While Fields could use the experience, he hasn’t appeared ready to take the game over, whereas Dalton and Foles would have full command of Nagy’s offense. Sooner or later the Bears need to get a better understanding of who Fields can be as a quarterback, but their roster and offensive gameplans don’t appear ready to give him free rein.

For Fields to have great success with the Bears in year one as a starter, they need to let him loose. He definitely has the best arm talent and is the most athletic of any of the quarterback options for the Bears. They just have yet to dial up a gameplan that showcases his full potential and that’s what worries some onlookers.

By putting Fields out there too early, paired with Nagy and what eventually will be a failed system, it could also do damage to the talented former Ohio State quarterback. While they are not the same, Buckeye fans will look no further than the rise and fall of Dwayne Haskins’ NFL career so far.

It’s not hard to see the obvious potential Fields has, the NFL would be a lot better off with yet another exciting young, dual-threat quarterback thriving so soon.

However, there’s also a case to be made for Fields sitting and learning from the veterans on the roster. Foles is a Super Bowl MVP and Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has a career 75-67-2 record as a starter in the NFL, those accomplishments are better than most can say.

One win against the Lions shouldn’t inspire anyone to say Fields is the real deal, but it seems to have the Bears’ current head coach convinced (for now). We’ll see how it turns out this week against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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