Matt Nagy’s Continued Confidence in Andy Dalton Is Bad Sign for Justin Fields Fans

Andy Dalton is looking like the Bears Week 1 starter over Justin Fields.
Andy Dalton is looking like the Bears Week 1 starter over Justin Fields. / Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Sorry Chicago Bears fans, but it looks like Andy Dalton is going to at least be the team’s Week 1 starter.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy has not wavered on his support of Dalton as the team’s starter over rookie and first-round pick Justin Fields, and it appears that Dalton has won Nagy over to the point where he won’t even need to prove himself in preseason games.

‘‘If he wasn’t at the point that we wanted, we would play him more in the preseason,’’ Nagy said of Dalton. ‘‘He’s exceeded that. He could play tomorrow in a game, and I would feel great about it.’’

Oh boy. If you made a futures bet on Justin Fields to win the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award, I’d understand if you start getting a little nervous. 

Of the last seven quarterbacks to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award (Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert), all seven played at least 15 games in their rookie season. 

Herbert, who won last year’s award, took over for the injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 2 and never looked back. It’s possible Fields could find himself in a similar situation, but it’s not looking likely. 

Even though he has +525 odds at WynnBET to win, which is second behind Trevor Lawrence, Fields is facing an uphill battle to get enough snaps and starts to win Rookie of the Year in 2021. 

Dalton, who feels comfortable in the Bears’ offense, figures to be the team’s starter unless he struggles or the team is out of the playoff chase and has a reason to see what Fields can do. If Dalton is playing and winning, Nagy seems to have no problem sticking with him. 

‘‘I feel really comfortable with everything that we’ve got in [the playbook], but you get out there to get into a little bit of a rhythm,’’ Dalton said when asked whether there was anything he needed to get out of this preseason game. ‘‘We’ll see how long I’m actually out there.’’

Dalton seems poised to join a long line of prestigious Bears quarterbacks that includes Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Jimmy Clausen, Mike Glennon, Brian Hoyer, Josh McCown, Chase Daniel and Mitchell Trubisky. 

I had to leave Jay Cutler off that list out of respect. Maybe Fields will get a chance this season, but it seems like Dalton’s going to run away with this job heading into Week 1.

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