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Bears’ Justin Fields to start vs. Browns; Matt Nagy commits to Andy Dalton when healthy

Nagy indicated the Bears don’t plan to put Andy Dalton on injured reserve, which would mean they think he’ll miss just one or two games.

Andy Dalton remains out with a knee injury, and Nick Foles will be Justin Fields’ backup.
Andy Dalton remains out with a knee injury, and Nick Foles will be Justin Fields’ backup.
Jae C. Hong/AP

Bears coach Matt Nagy gave an impromptu press conference Wednesday morning to announce that rookie Justin Fields will start at quarterback Sunday against the Browns.

Nagy was dodgy about the situation with Fields and injured starter Andy Dalton on Monday. Dalton hurt his knee against the Bengals on Sunday.

Nagy said he remains committed to Dalton as the Bears’ starter once he has recovered from the bone bruise in his knee.

“When Andy is healthy, he’s our starter,” Nagy said. “Justin is worried about trying to help us beat Cleveland. We’re not going to get into that what-if game... There’s a lot of stuff that can happen between now and [Dalton getting healthy]. I don’t really want to go there other than just saying when Andy is healthy, he’s our starter.”

When asked again to clarify whether that was absolute or whether he’d be flexible based on how Fields performed in the interim, Nagy said, “[Dalton] is not healthy, so he’s not our starter. When he is healthy, he is our starter. It’s as simple as that.”

Fields played occasionally in the opener and in the first half against the Bengals, then took over full-time when Dalton exited late in the first half.

Dalton will be inactive Sunday, and veteran Nick Foles will dress as Fields’ backup.

“It sucks coming this way, but I think injuries happen in football,” Fields said. “It sucks for it to happen like this, but I believe everything happens for reason. We might not know what that reason is now, but I guess we’ll find out as time goes on.”