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Matt Nagy Hints Andy Dalton is on Short Leash

By Stephen Douglas
Andy Dalton and the quarterback the GM told him not to worry about.
Andy Dalton and the quarterback the GM told him not to worry about. / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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The Chicago Bears quarterback situation is finally getting some clarity. Justin Fields has been named the starting quarterback for the Bears' final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans while Andy Dalton has been named the starting quarterback for the season-opener against the Los Angeles Rams. So for now the job is Dalton's. As long as he plays well and the Bears win.

They say a Bear is only as good as his word and from the moment Chicago started pursuing Dalton, they said he was going to be their starting quarterback. They even had a nice tweet calling him QB1.

Things got complicated quickly as they were able to move up in the draft and take Fields. It was a move that screamed "this is our guy," but Matt Nagy has never really wavered, even as Fields got rave reviews every step of the way and checked every box you would want a rookie starting quarterback to check in 2021. Still, Nagy will ride or die with Dalton.

The only question is how quickly will these two die their football deaths? This was a .500 team that made the playoffs last year. If the Bears lose a couple winnable games because Nagy had to keep his word to Dalton, then Fields will get the call. If Dalton and Nagy put the Bears in a hole that Fields can't then dig them out of, they're both in trouble.

If Nagy had done the bold thing and started the rookie, he would have given himself some leeway as Fields excelled, making him look smart in the process, or taken some time to find his footing. You couldn't blame Nagy for that. The Bears invested a lot in Fields and he's supposed to be their future. By starting Fields on the bench Nagy has put himself on a short leash, right next to Andy Dalton.

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