It sounds like Matt Nagy finally realizes importance of getting Justin Fields first-team reps

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The decision about when to start Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has been a point of contention between Matt Nagy and Bears fans and media alike since training camp.

But with Andy Dalton sidelined a couple of weeks with a bone bruise in his knee, there’s no more arguments to be made for or against. With Fields being the backup, he’ll now make his first NFL start against the Browns on Sunday.

Fields relieved Dalton last week before halftime, where he played for the remainder of the game. Aside from some rookie mistakes, there were also some miscommunication and timing issues between Fields and the starters, which could be attributed to Fields’ lack of reps with the first-team offense during training camp and preseason.

With Dalton declared out on Wednesday, Fields had a full week of practice as the starter, which should go a long way in fixing some of those mistakes. Nagy told reporters that the team is seeing new things from Fields now that he’s getting those first-team reps.

“This week, with him getting all the reps in practice,” Nagy said, “there’s things that we’re seeing that maybe we didn’t see in the first two weeks because he wasn’t getting those one reps.”

This from the guy that was directly responsible for Fields not getting reps with the starters in training camp and preseason. It’s almost as if reps with the players that will make the active roster actually helps develop chemistry.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Nagy has been insistent that Dalton was the starter from Day 1, which explains him getting all of the starters reps. But the expectation was that Fields, who everyone knew would take over at some point this season, would get some reps with the first-team offense.

While Nagy has reiterated that Dalton will be the starter when healthy, that statement kind of came with an asterisk. If Fields struggles in relief of Dalton, the Bears go back to Dalton and let Fields continue developing. But if Fields impresses, like we all assume he will, it’s an easy out for Nagy to continue to ride with the rookie.

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