When it comes to Justin Fields’ status as QB1, Matt Nagy’s words haven’t always been firm.
In fact, Nagy’s non-committal-by-design attitude has often left us wishing he would be more direct and less mysterious about how he goes about things. Let’s face it. There is a difference between being coy for competition’s sake and the word salad Nagy has set out there while answering questions.
But when addressing the media at Halas Hall on Friday, Nagy was as straight-forward as he gets:
Matt Nagy on the Bears QB situation, "When Justin (Fields) is healthy, he’s the starter. That keeps it pretty simple."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) November 26, 2021
Just in case it wasn’t clear before, Fields will start when he is once again healthy.
The need for clarification comes after Nagy was side-stepping questions about the quarterback situation after last Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. Before clearing things up in his Tuesday press conference ahead of the Lions game, Nagy’s talking points after the loss against Baltimore raised questions in some corners about Fields’ status as QB1. They shouldn’t have, mind you. After all, trying to figure out who your starting QB is on a short turnaround when he is dealing with injured ribs that still needed more testing to figure out the severity would likely get the best of us answering like we were lost in a maze. But now that we’re all in the clear, we can move on.
As for the timetable for a healthy return, it appears as if it will be quicker than we might otherwise have been expecting.
In his pre-game interview with WBBM-AM 780/105.9 FM, GM Ryan Pace offered up some good news regarding Fields’ injury.
“I think at the end we’re really fortunate that it’s nothing long-term; it’s definitely not an IR thing. It’s more of a day-to-day thing,” Pace said, as transcribed by the Bears’ official website. “We’ll get through this game. The good thing about it is you’ll have some extra time after this game to re-evaluate, not just Justin but some other guys, get them healthy, and get them ready to roll.”
That nugget Pace drops about the extra time to get guys healthy seems prevalent, especially when considering reporting from NFL on FOX insider Jay Glazer:
Jay Glazer reporting that the expectation is that QB Justin Fields will play against the Cardinals next weekend. #Bears
— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) November 25, 2021
During his appearance on the FOX’s Thanksgiving coverage, Glazer said Fields would’ve been a 50-50 shot at starting had the game been on Sunday (and not Thursday). But because Thanksgiving is a Thursday, that was a no-go. But the good news is that, with an additional 10 days of rest, Fields should be in a good place physically by the time the Bears play the Cardinals on Dec. 5.