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Justin Fields will be Chicago Bears' starting quarterback moving forward, coach Matt Nagy says

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The Chicago Bears are finally ready to hand the reins of their offense to Justin Fields.

After sticking by veteran Andy Dalton through the early portion of the season and a knee injury, Bears coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday that the team would be going with Fields, the first-round rookie, as its starting quarterback moving forward.

“We’ve been patient with this," Nagy said in a news conference. "We’ve grown with him, We’re proud of Justin. He’s been a great teammate from the very beginning.”

Fields, whom the Bears traded up to select with the No. 11 pick in this year's NFL draft, stepped in for Dalton when the 10-year veteran suffered a knee injury in a Week 2 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields looks to pass during the first half against the Detroit Lions.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields looks to pass during the first half against the Detroit Lions.

In his first start, Fields was sacked nine times by the Cleveland Browns and the Bears mustered just 47 yards of total offense in a 36-6 loss. He rebounded in a 24-14 win against the Detroit Lions last week, throwing for 209 yards on 11-for-17 passing.

The Bears signed Dalton to a one-year, $10 million contract this offseason. Even after moving up to select Fields and watching the rookie in the preseason, Nagy stood by Dalton as his first-string option.

As recently as Monday, Nagy said, "When Andy's healthy, he's our starter."

Said Nagy on Wednesday: “The plan and the process that we had going into this was important for to understand, and then when Andy unfortunately got hurt with his knee, that sped the process up."

The Bears play the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bears' Justin Fields will be starting QB, Matt Nagy says