Chicago Bears: Predicting how soon we should expect to see Justin Fields

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Chicago Bears (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Ryan pace, Chicago Bears, Andy Dalton
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Justin Fields will play a minimum of eight games for the Chicago Bears this year

Alright, we saw two scenarios play out, but what will happen with Andy Dalton and Justin Fields? We have not looked at Andy Dalton’s stats yet. Dalton has been in the NFL for 10 years now. He is now 33 years old and coming off a few injury-riddled seasons. During his 10-year career, Dalton has thrown for over 4,000 yards on two occasions (2013 and 2016). He was also on pace to break 4,000 yards in 2019, but only played 13 of 16 games.

I fully expect Justin Fields to become a top-10 quarterback at the very worst. In my mind, I expect him to reach his full potential and be a top-five quarterback. That does not mean he will prove himself quickly enough to start Week 1. Ryan Pace has come out and said Dalton is still the projected starting quarterback once the regular season starts. He said they will make sure Justin Fields has a strong developmental plan.

With the Chicago Bears history with Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky, and Matt Nagy’s history with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes, it is hard to determine exactly how soon Justin Fields will see the field in 2021. Could the 2020 season give us another peak into the outcome for Justin Fields? Matt Nagy wasted no time removing Mitch Trubisky to replace him with Nick Foles. Three games in and Trubisky got the hook.

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With a four-game leash in 2017 for Mike Glennon and a full-season for Alex Smith the same year, it seems more likely that Dalton exceeds four games, but likely will not see the full season. Should the Chicago Bears win enough games early, Justin Fields may not play as early as most fans would like. I am going to put the over/under on games played for Fields at eight. The Chicago Bears wasted no time switching quarterbacks last season, the same is likely to happen in 2021 as well.

Prediction: Justin Fields starts 9 games in 2021