Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields warms up before an NFL football game against the against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Justin Fields to start for Chicago Bears

Justin Fields will start for the Chicago Bears, head coach Matt Nagy said. Sunday marks the quarterback’s first NFL start.

Andy Dalton’s injury

Quarterback Andy Dalton is listed week-to-week due to a knee injury, Nagy said. However, he said when Dalton is healthy he is intended to be the starter. The head coach confirmed the injury is not Dalton’s ACL.

The 33-year-old governs the Chicago offense with a total of 262 passing yards, boasting a 73.47% completion rate.

Nagy said this is a great opportunity for Fields and the entire organization. But prep starts now, despite Dalton’s absence.

Fields’ preparation

The rookie finished his career at Ohio State University as the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year in 2020. He learned a lot reviewing last week’s tape, Fields said. On Sept. 19 versus the Cincinnati Bengals, the quarterback threw for 60 yards in the 20-17 win.

Fields is constantly learning.

“I’m excited to where I can improve,” he said.

He said his Bears teammates trust him and look after him.

“Them just having my back and having confidence in me that I’m going to go out there and execute [has] kept me comfortable.”

The rookie said he’s worked with the offense to prepare himself for this week. As a result, the 22-year-old looks to mesh well on the field.

The quarterback battle

Nagy isn’t concerned with Fields filling Dalton’s shoes. However, the coach is adamant Dalton will return to the starting lineup. Despite Dalton’s injury, he said he and Justin’s concern is Sunday’s game.

The Chicago Bears head to Cleveland for week three, eager to start a win streak. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium.

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