Chicago Bears fans are finally getting their wish.
Ironically, Fields who rose to prominence at Ohio State, is playing in friendly/enemy territory (depending on how you view it) in his first career NFL start in Cleveland, Ohio against the Browns.
Dalton, who is dealing with a bone bruise, is now on the bench.
The question is for how long?
If Andy Dalton is healthy this week, I would expect him to start.
Medical experts on Twitter seem to think he's going to be out 2-4 weeks.
If that's the case, I can't see Andy Dalton starting another game this year unless Fields misses time with an injury.#Bears
— Bill Zimmerman (@ZimmermanSXM) September 20, 2021
We would venture to guess the rest of the season unless there is an injury or calamity for Fields.
This entire quarterback situation in Chicago has been weird for months.
The offseason alleged pursuit of Russell Wilson fell flat.
Then, there was the quick signing of Dalton for big bucks with Nick Foles still on the roster.
Finally, the Bears got a stroke of good luck in Fields falling practically into their hands during the 2021 NFL Draft.
Matt Nagy has been the only one insistent upon Dalton being the starter when he is healthy.
Now that Dalton is injured, the job is there for the taking if Fields plays well.
Matt Nagy said Andy Dalton is the #Bears starting quarterback when healthy.
What Nagy left unsaid – and there's no need to announce it – yes, Dalton can lose his job because of injury.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 23, 2021
Rookie Quarterbacks Do Struggle
Nagy must not believe Fields is ready given his persistent insistence that Dalton is the starter.
If he is concerned about a rookie quarterback struggling, that is a given.
Rookies will make mistakes, but Fields still offers an upside over Dalton.
He is mobile and tough to bring down.
Are his instincts as good as the veteran Dalton?
They probably are not yet, but game experience will change that.
Dalton has been the epitome of a class act.
This situation has to be awkward for him.
He embraced his role as mentor and cheerleader to Fields from the very beginning.
Even while injured, he was cheering Fields on from the sideline.
— NFL (@NFL) September 21, 2021
Fields has had Dalton’s back throughout this wild and weird ride.
When asked about the fans chanting Fields’ name when Dalton was out on the field in the Bears final preseason game, Fields said:
“Andy is out there on the field right now, so I really think it’s kind of disrespectful to Andy, them cheering my name like that. They have to trust in coach to make sure he’s making the right decisions and cheer Andy on…That’s not helping Andy play better, them cheering my name. That’s not doing that. So I would say my advice to them would be just cheer for who’s out there playing on the field.”
Watch Fields make his first NFL start on Sunday afternoon, September 26 against the Browns.