The Andy Dalton era in Chicago is officially over.
After Justin Fields got his first start last weekend thanks to a leg injury to Dalton, Matt Nagy finally announced on Wednesday that Fields would be the team’s starter moving forward.
Matt Nagy Finally Announces Justin Fields As The QB1 And Bears Nation Takes A Collective Sigh Of Reliefhttps://t.co/0jW9hn8rzX
— SideAction (@SideActionHQ) October 6, 2021
When Justin Fields was speaking about his opportunity, he revealed that Andy Dalton called him to congratulate the rookie on earning the opportunity.
“He just told me it was a great opportunity for me and that’d he be here for it all, for everything I needed, and he just didn’t want it to be awkward,” Fields said via The Athletic. “He didn’t want our relationship to change because of the situation. So I told him that was very comforting to hear from him.”
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Despite saying Andy Dalton was still the team’s starter on Monday, Nagy was adamant that Justin Fields would be under center barring an injury for the remainder of the season. Dalton will join Nick Foles as the backups who will play a role in mentoring Fields throughout the season.
“Our relationship has just grown over the past few months,” Fields said of Dalton. “And it’s going to continue to grow each and every day. Nick (Foles) and Andy, they’ve both been great to me. They’ve taught me a lot and of course, I’m going to be leaning on those guys for the rest of the season, to just learn as much as I can from them.”
It feels like Nagy and the Bears brass went above and beyond to make sure Andy Dalton felt respected before publicly announcing that Justin Fields was their guy. Perhaps the team envisions both quarterbacks working together for years to come.