Nagy: Andy Dalton Is Starter When Healthy

Andy Dalton returned to practice Wednesday, going through the Bears’ workout in a limited capacity. And Matt Nagy has not changed his depth chart at quarterback.

The player the Bears promised would begin the season as their starter will remain so going forward, once he returns to full strength. Dalton suffered a knee contusion in Chicago’s Week 2 win over Cincinnati.

In regards to the depth chart with them, Andy is the 1, Justin’s the 2, Nick is the 3,” Nagy said of his Dalton-Justin FieldsNick Foles depth chart (via ESPN.com’s Field Yates, on Twitter).

Although Dalton’s injury moved Fields into the lineup, he trudged through an abysmal day in Cleveland. The No. 11 overall pick took nine sacks and completed 6 of 20 passes. First-round rookies rarely give jobs back after ascending to staring roles; Mitchell Trubisky moved into Chicago’s starting lineup in Week 5 of his rookie year and made every subsequent start in 2017. Fields’ performance may have opened the door for Dalton to stay in the picture. Fields was also uneven in his debut against the Bengals, following Dalton’s injury.

After suffering a right thumb injury, Fields practiced fully Wednesday. Foles is not on Chicago’s injury report but does not appear to have re-entered the equation for a possible starting role. The trade candidate remains in a third-string position to begin his age-32 season.

Nagy also indicated the Bears have had conversations about their play-calling role, though no decision has been made. Chicago ranks last in total yards and 31st in points through three games. Nagy gave OC Bill Lazor play-calling responsibilities amid a swoon last season, and the Bears — albeit against favorable opposition — made a late-season run to reach the playoffs. Nagy took back the play-calling reins this offseason. Lazor was Dalton’s OC in Cincinnati from 2017-18 and his position coach in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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