Training fields

Bears’ Matt Nagy denies owner told him to start Justin Fields

When Matt Nagy spoke to the media on Friday, he was on a mission to respond to rumors and information surrounding him and the Bears. Among them was Hub Arkush’s report that the decision to name Justin Fields as a starter for Week 5 and beyond came from team president George McCaskey and went against Nagy’s wishes.

When asked if he would do anything different regarding the way he handled the QB’s situation, Nagy went out of his way to bring up the aforementioned report.

“You know there was some wrong stuff there,” Nagy said. “It couldn’t be farther from, farther from the truth.”

After the press conference, Arkush maintained his report and sources.

Nagy infamously named Dalton the team starter before the draft, then doubled that up early in training camp. He ruled out any chance Fields would win the job over the summer, drawing criticism from the media and fans.

Dalton started the first two games of the season, but came out in the middle of Week 2 with an injury, forcing Fields into the starting lineup. But Nagy maintained that when in good health Dalton was the starter.

Here’s Nagy on the Monday before the Week 5 game against the Raiders:

“Like we’ve been saying all this time, when Andy is healthy, when he’s healthy, he’s our starter. He’s 1. Justin is 2. Nick is 3.”

But on Wednesday of this week, Dalton came out of the injury report and returned to training. And Nagy changed his tone:

“We had good conversations internally. It has helped us over the past two weeks. Continuing this process this week, it led to the decision to move with Justin as a starter. You know we’ve been patient with this. We grew up with him. We are proud of Justin.

For what it’s worth, Nagy said they were sticking with Fields moving forward, using the same language he did when he spoke about Dalton.

“When Justin is healthy he’s the starter, so it’s pretty simple.”

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