Justin Fields is the Bears’ starting quarterback, both Sunday and beyond.
Coach Matt Nagy made the announcement on Wednesday, saying Fields “has done everything to show us that he’s ready for this opportunity.”
Nagy said there is nothing, short of an injury to the rookie quarterback, that will send Fields back to the bench.
“This is Justin’s time,” he said.
Veteran Andy Dalton, who suffered a bone bruise in his left knee Week 2, will practice in full Wednesday and be the backup on Sunday against the Raiders.
Nagy told both quarterbacks his decision Tuesday. He said the conversation with Dalton was difficult. Fields, he said, was his typically stoic self when Nagy told him.
“It was definitely good news to hear,” Fields said.
Nagy being clear with the announcement Wednesday is a change from the week before, when the coach put off naming Fields the starter for the Lions game until Saturday evening.
Fields started the Bears’ previous two games. The first, in Week 3 against the Browns, was an unmitigated disaster, during which the Bears gained 47 yards on 42 plays. Fields looked much more comfortable in his second start, a 24-14 win against the Lions on Sunday at Soldier Field. Fields went 11-for-17 for 209 yards, no touchdowns and one interceptions. The Bears posted five passes of 20 yards or more, though, after having only one all season long.