Justin Fields Returns to Ohio a Starter

Justin Fields made his mark at Ohio State and now he'll return to that state to make his first NFL start Sunday due to the knee injury to Andy Dalton.

Justin Fields will get his first NFL start against the Cleveland Browns Sunday as quarterback Andy Dalton has been ruled out due to a knee bruise.

Bears coach Matt Nagy made the announcement at a special Wednesday press conference and said Nick Foles will be the backup this week.

Fields played in relief of Dalton last week in the closing minutes of the first half and the entire second half.

He completed 6 of 13 for 60 yards with an interception. So far he is 8 of 15 for 70 yards and he's run for 34 yards on 11 attempts with a 3-yard touchdown in the opener.

"Justin is going to be our starter and prep basically starts right now," Bears coach Matt Nagy said.

The change for the Bears will be going from the veteran pocket passer to the young, mobile athletic quarterback.

"This is a part of the business and so now it's a great opportunity for Justin and for all of us as a staff to be able to take this thing and see where he goes with this," Nagy said.

Dalton suffered the bone bruise running out of bounds without contact, stumbled a bit and then came back into the game for a series and was sacked. He seemed to be having trouble with the leg at the time, then left the game for good and went to the locker room.

Nagy made it clear Fields is only starting now.

"When Andy is healthy our plan continues for him to be the starter," Nagy said.

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Fields has been running the scout team at practices and this week steps in with the first team.

"Justin has known throughout that he's one play away," Nagy said.

Fields is approaching the task with a narrow focus.

"Of course I'm going to go out there on Sunday and play my best and of course just try to come out with the win," Fields said. "And that's my may focus. My main focus isn't winning the starting job. I think that's going to come with time. 

"So my main focus right now is just to prepare the best I can and, you know, go out Sunday and execute at a high level."

There was no shock on Fields' part about.

"I think it was pretty much even keel," he said.  "I think I had a good idea that I might possibly start."

Fields had played on a spot basis in the opener, five plays. And he was doing this in the second game until Dalton's injury. Now he'll practice as the starter and be a major part of the game plan.

"It's definitely going to help me more than last week, of course, getting reps with the offense instead of just working with the scout offense," Fields said.

Fields doesn't view it as a monumental task because of his support from teammates.

"Just practicing with them every day, I think they have a lot of trust in me," Fields said. "Them being behind my back and just having my back and having confidence in me that I'm gonna go out there and execute, that's kind of kept me comfortable and kept me poised and confident."

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