September 22, 2022

Will the Bears clean up during the season? Another QB controversy for Matt Nagy? 5 takeaways – The Athletic

History tends to repeat itself with the Bears. Last year, quarterback Nick Foles was injured on his seventh start, forcing coach Matt Nagy to switch to Mitch Trubisky. This season, Justin Fields injured his ribs in his eighth start, which allowed Andy Dalton to take over against the Ravens and potentially Thanksgiving against the Lions.

The difference between this year and last, however, is that Nagy probably doesn’t mind a return to Dalton. He may never say it – you find yourself reading the tea leaves in his increasingly vague press conferences – but he may prefer it.

This is where this week’s top five takeaways column begins.

Another quarterback controversy?

If Nagy goes down, he seems like the guy who will want to go on his own terms. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising if Nagy tried to win with Dalton for as long as he could. This stunting of Fields’ development, at least temporarily, is the path taken with the Bears having a 3-7 record.

A victory over the winless Lions in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day would provide Nagy with the starting point he needs, while Fields’ injured ribs and the need to “protect him from himself” become a convenient excuse.

It was Nagy’s plan all along to play Dalton and sit Fields this season until everything changed abruptly a few weeks into the season.