Matt Nagy says there’s no damage to Andy Dalton’s ACL but won’t say if he’ll remain Bears’ starting QB

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears starting quarterback Andy Dalton injured his knee during Sunday’s Week 2 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. According to Bears head coach Matt Nagy, Dalton escaped without any damage to his ACL. 

Nagy declined to give much more information during his meeting with reporters, regarding either Dalton’s health or whether the veteran will remain the team’s starting quarterback if he is healthy enough to play in Week 3. Per NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, Nagy had the following exchange with a reporter: 

Reporter: “Is Andy [Dalton] still your starter if healthy?”

Nagy: “That’s something that I’m not going to get into with scheme.”

Reporter: “That’s not scheme.”

Nagy: “Of course it is. That’s 100 percent scheme. That’s 100 percent scheme.”

Let’s throw it out there: This is not 100 percent scheme. It is not even 1 percent scheme. It’s personnel. 

Nagy has been adamant — some might say defiant — in maintaining that Dalton is the team’s starting quarterback, ever since the team acquired him during the free-agency period. He has been even more so since the Bears traded up to select Justin Fields with the No. 11 overall pick in this year’s draft, repeatedly citing his experience in Kansas City with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes as a model. 

The difference between the two situations is that Smith was clearly still playing at a high level in front of Mahomes. Dalton, to put it kindly, is not playing at a high level. He’s averaging a pitiful 5.3 yards per attempt and has been sacked on 7.5 percent of his dropbacks. Fields clearly gives the team a level of explosiveness that Dalton cannot reach at this stage of his career. There are other reasons not to thrust Fields into the starting lineup, such as the sorry state of the team’s offensive line, but it’s clear at this point which player would put the team in a better position to win now and in the future, regardless of how Nagy initially planned to handle things.

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