Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Justin Fields named Bears starter against Browns in wake of Andy Dalton injury; Nick Foles to serve as backup

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Things just got very interesting for the Chicago Bears going into their Week 3 battle with the Cleveland Browns. With Andy Dalton nursing a knee injury suffered in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the question on which quarterback head coach Matt Nagy would deploy as starter has now been answered. It will not be former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, but instead Justin Fields — Nagy announced on Wednesday — the rookie 11th overall pick whom many have been calling to see take the role of QB1 before now. 

Fields entered the contest against the Bengals and didn’t have the flashiest of games, completing only six of his 13 pass attempts for a total of 60 yards, to go along with an interception and no touchdowns, but he did contribute 31 rushing yards on 10 carries to help land his first win at the NFL level. It also helped the Bears stave off the dreaded 0-2 start, and now he’ll get a major opportunity to try and prove he was worth the first-round nod as the future of the franchise at the position in Chicago.

Dalton, who was signed to a one-year deal worth upward of $13 million, has an undetermined timeline on when he’ll be able to return to the field. But once he’s cleared, if Fields shows signs of being ready to carry the franchise, Nagy will again find himself faced with a decision at quarterback — having not always made the right call in that regard.

That’s a problem for later, however, because Nagy isn’t looking to lean on the veteran going into Sunday — an uneven Foles acquired via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020 — but instead the young upstart who torched collegiate football as the leader of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Fields passed for 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns to only nine interceptions in two seasons as starting quarterback at OSU, and added 867 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to his resume.

This is why the Bears traded up to grab him in April, and it’s time to see if he’s ready to take the mantle for good.

It’s go time for Justin Fields in Chicago. How far can he take Chicago in his rookie season? Download the CBS Sports app and get the latest news, insights, and surprising predictions from our team of experts. If you already have the app, make sure to favorite the Bears to get the latest news quickly.  

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