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Justin Fields to start season as QB2 with Chicago Bears, confirms head coach Matt Nagy

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The Chicago Bears plan to start Andy Dalton in Week One of the 2021 season ahead of rookie Justin Fields, who they traded up to select with the 11th overall pick at the NFL Draft.

Last Updated: 16/06/21 9:48am

How long will Andy Dalton be able to hold off Justin Fields? (AP)

Head coach Matt Nagy had stood firm on the Chicago Bears’ intentions to begin the 2021 season with Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback over rookie Justin Fields.

In an interview on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, Nagy was asked if there was a “possible scenario” that would see Fields play in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams on September 12.

“No,” Nagy said. “I mean, Andy is our starter. And again, I can’t predict anything. You know how it goes: There’s so many things that can happen between today and that Week 1. But Andy is our starter and Justin’s our No. 2 and we are gonna stick to this plan.”

The Bears moved up nine spots in the first round of April’s NFL draft to select Fields out of Ohio State at No 11 overall.

They sent the New York Giants their first-round pick (No 20), their fifth-rounder (No 164) and their 2022 first- and fourth-rounders to make the move.

Fields was the fourth quarterback taken in the draft, falling just behind Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), Zach Wilson (New York Jets) and Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers). But Chicago do not appear to be in a rush to play Fields.

The Bears signed Dalton to a one-year, $10m deal in free agency, and general manager Ryan Pace told reporters in early April that Dalton would be their starter. That was four weeks before they traded up to pick Fields. Nick Foles also remains on the roster.

Dalton played significant snaps for the Dallas Cowboys last year once Dak Prescott went down for the year with a broken ankle. He started nine games and finished the year with 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions, having spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nagy spent time on his podcast appearance describing how happy the coaching staff and front office were to pull off the trade to land Fields. But he reiterated that Dalton was always going to be the No 1 to start 2021.

“For us, we put together this plan, and the plan is that Andy is the starter,” Nagy said. “Andy’s played 10 great years in this league and had a lot of success. And we’re excited to be able to have him come in here and do what we think he can do, but yet also teach Justin how to play quarterback — all of us together — and insulate him so he can maximize his strengths.”

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MLB trade grade: Brewers acquire Daniel Norris from Tigers

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Daniel Norris trade for the Brewers is nothing to phone home about

Milwaukee supporters sure were hoping for some better news, as Norris is currently sporting a 5.83 ERA this season. That’s not the kind of production you want from a reliever, which is why the Brewers receive a C grade for this deal.

Meanwhile, for Detroit, they’re getting a B+ for moving Norris. In return, Tigers beat writer Jason Beck is reporting Detroit is receiving 21-year-old pitching prospect, Reese Olson.

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FA’s 2021-22 calendar is the best thing Australian football has seen in decades

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In spite of the continuing and significant COVID-19 realities presenting themselves in New South Wales, Football Australia today released its domestic match calendar for 2021-22. (more…)

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Blue Jays acquiring Twins ace Jose Berrios for Martin, Woods Richardson

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The Toronto Blue Jays made a big splash hours before Friday’s MLB Trade Deadline, acquiring right-handed starter Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith confirms.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the agreement.

Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays are sending No. 2 prospect Austin Martin and No. 4 prospect Simeon Woods Richardson to the Twins in the trade.

Berrios, who is under team control through the 2022 season, was one of the most sought-after starters on the trade market. He has 3.48 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 20 starts for the Twins this season. The two-time All-Star has spent his entire six-year career with the Twins and outside his rookie season he has never had an ERA above 4.00.

The move gives the Blue Jays a third ace starter to join Robbie Ray, Alek Manoah and Cy Young finalist Hyun-Jin Ryu. It also is the latest blockbuster move in the AL East arms race after the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays all made trades in recent days to add power bats to their lineups.

The Blue Jays enter play Friday, their first home game at the Rogers Centre in nearly two years, fourth in the division with a 51-48 record. They are 9.5 games back of the Red Sox for first in the division and 4.5 games out a wild card spot.

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