Only the Bears can find a way to muck up #VictoryMonday. But I’m here to clarify things, in part, because a Bears Sunday win has me in a good mental space to talk through Matt Nagy’s ridiculousness. And the good news is that it is far more simple than it might otherwise be made out to be.
The Bears say Andy Dalton is still their starting quarterback if he is healthy. They might’ve said it in an overly complex, convoluted way in which a PR flak had to clarify something Nagy said (or didn’t say) while trying to hide behind a veil of obscurity under the guise of gamesmanship. But the message was clear. A healthy Dalton starts.
Sources: #Bears QB Andy Dalton had his MRI and it confirmed a bone bruise in his knee. No official determination has been made about his status this week.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 20, 2021
… Dalton isn’t healthy.
He wasn’t healthy enough to return to action on Sunday, and if that is an indicator of what is on the horizon, then you already know what is coming.
Things are lining up for Justin Fields to make his first NFL regular-season start on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. And suddenly, it makes sense as to why Nagy wouldn’t get into whether Dalton would remain the starter if healthy. Because, in a space where all things are equal and Dalton were healthy, not clarifying roles would leave the Browns needing to prepare for the possibility of Dalton and Fields playing. Do I love how this gamesmanship ridiculousness is put out there? Hardly. But I can respect the hustle for spits and giggles.
In the end, it might not be an issue. Because Dalton isn’t 100 percent healthy. And once Fields starts, it will be difficult to pull back from that. This might be one of those “you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” situations. Because if Fields starts for a few weeks, and looks as good as he was portrayed before needing to play in a pinch, then he won’t be pushed back to the bench. Not even the Bears are that dense. Right?