All season long the Bears have maintained there’s a plan for developing Justin Fields this year, and that they’re going to stick to it. We now know that included limited packages in specific situations in Week 1. According to a report from Jay Glazer, that initial plan also included Fields not starting his first game until at least the second quarter of the season.
“The plan was for him not to be the starter before Week 4,” Glazer said on Monday morning. “That one I can tell you without a doubt. The Bears were really hoping their defense would come up big, they’d be able to play a little ball control football, and Andy Dalton would be able to manage that team, and Justin Fields could just learn. They did want to take him along a lot more slowly than throwing him in there in game one or game two, or something along those lines.”
The keyword in that paragraph is “was.” Glazer didn’t mention when his sources relayed the details of Matt Nagy’s and Ryan Pace’s plan. In the NFL, all plans are fluid, all of the time, so there’s a chance that Fields’ playー or Andy Dalton’s playー could speed up that timeline.
There also may be something to easing Fields into the starting lineup. Of the three rookie quarterbacks who started Week 1, only Mac Jones played well. Both Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson completed fewer than 55% of their passes. Lawrence struggled, throwing three interceptions and Wilson took six sacks. Each man also ranked in the bottom five for first down percentage across the league.
One thing is clear however: until Fields is named the starter, questions and calls for him to take the reins won’t stop.