The Chicago Bears don’t have to rush him, but they will give Justin Fields a chance to start Week 1.
In the latest edition of things I never thought I’d write, the Chicago Bears look pretty good at the quarterback position right now. Andy Dalton was signed in free agency, then they made a bold move up in the first round of the draft to take Justin Fields.
The Bears have tried to stick with the idea Dalton is their starting quarterback, if only to reduce expectations for Fields. As a nod to his final season as Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2017, head coach Matt Nagy has suggested a Patrick Mahomes plan, where Fields would sit all or most of his rookie season.
But the balance of Fields’ readiness and upside will eventually collide with Dalton not having the latter in the same measure. So the Bears appear to be softening on the idea Dalton is locked in as the starter for Week 1.
The Bears will give Justin Fields a chance to win the starting job
Besides training camp, Fields will also have preseason game action to bolster his case to start over Dalton. With the narrowing to three preseason games this year, Fields and Dalton will probably each start one of the first two.
Fields definitely has the skills to win the starting job. Just as importantly, he also appears to have the intangibles to show teammates who may want to lean toward Dalton that he can be the guy right away.
If he doesn’t win the starting job in camp, it’s still probably only a matter of time before Fields takes over for Dalton during the season. The Bears should’ve been open to the idea of having the future with Fields start right away all along, and they’re no longer shutting that door in what was purely a level of deference to Dalton.