The Chicago Bears are prepared to play rookie quarterback Justin Fields tonight if Andy Dalton struggles, per a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
"For these Chicago Bears, this is Andy Daton's team, he is the starter. However, based on what Justin Fields did in the preseason, based on his readiness, I'm also told there is a small package of plays at Fields' disposal," Rapoport said. "If Andy Dalton does great, you may not see it. If he struggles a little bit, do not be surprised if the Bears unveil a little bit of Justin Fields tonight."
Rapoport also said the San Francisco 49ers were similarly preparing to play rookie Trey Lance despite starting Jimmy Garoppolo, though Lance playing doesn't seem dependent on Garoppolo struggling.
"Jimmy Garoppolo is a starter in San Francisco, but that does not mean you're not going to see Trey Lance, the highly touted rookie quarterback today," Rapoport said. "In fact, I am told there is a Trey Lance package for the 49ers. It is ready. They could in fact, unveil today.
"Don't be surprised if it's short yardage. Don't be surprised if it is red zone making the most of his athletic ability and giving him a chance to do some things on the field in a game like he did in the preseason."
Rams head coach Sean McVay was already preparing for this scenario.
"I think it would be naive for us not to prepare for them to be able to utilize him in some form or fashion," McVay told the media earlier this week.
McVay added: "Andy Dalton's a really good quarterback and he'll be a great challenge. And then you see the ways that Justin (Fields) made a lot of plays going back to his career at Ohio State (and) what he showed in the preseason. So, I think you got to be ready for either or, but it's going to be challenge, for sure."
And while fans are eager to see Fields play and even national media clamors for Fields to start, the Bears have been resolute that Dalton is the starter. And Dalton once again had to address Fields waiting in the wings with the media this week.
"That's the worst thing you could do, is look over your shoulder," Dalton said. "I think understanding that is is key.
"Tuning out the stuff that you don't need to focus on and knowing where you need to put your time and effort and all that kind of stuff, I think that's just where I'm at. And you don't worry about all the all the other stuff."