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#pounditTuesday, June 22, 2021

Report: Bears will hold open competition between Justin Fields, Andy Dalton

Justin Fields

The Chicago Bears immediately proclaimed Andy Dalton to be their starting quarterback after they signed him in free agency this offseason, but that was likely before they expected to be in a position to draft Justin Fields. Now, it sounds like the rookie has just as much of a chance as the veteran at landing the starting job.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “Get Up!” Monday that Fields will have a chance to beat out Dalton this summer.

“Now, if Fields is just undeniable over the next three to four months in training camp, they’re not going to just sit him just for fun or posterity just to play the veteran,” Fowler said, via Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway. “So they’re going to give him the best chance, but they’re OK sitting Fields if Dalton has a good grasp on the job and they feel like they can win with him. So, they believe they’re going to be better regardless. It just depends on whether Fields is ready Week 1.”

No one would blame the Bears for starting Fields in Week 1 if he outplays Dalton in training camp. The team probably just shouldn’t have been so quick to give Dalton the title of “QB1,” which is something they were ruthlessly mocked for on social media.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy said after the draft that the team will take things slow with Fields. That still applies, and Chicago is comfortable heading into the 2021 season with Dalton under center.

There is no official “QB1” at the moment, however. The Bears may have felt they had a clear-cut starter a few months ago, but the situation looks a lot different now.

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