It seems Aaron Rodgers is destined to play for the Green Bay Packers after all and none of it matters to Bears fans.
It shouldn't. Rodgers will be gone soon enough now.
Justin Fields is the quarterback who matters now.
A new era in Chicago Bears football begins as players are reporting for training camp, and Fields is the focus.
The rookie from Ohio State went through an offseason of preparation when he said and did the right thing and only endeared himself more to fans.
"So I feel like you can control what you can control and come to work every day with a positive attitude and a want to get better, then there's no stopping you," Fields said. "I think when that time comes, when I do get my opportunity, then I just would like to be ready for that moment."
The moment is the issue. For while Fields is the focus for everyone who attends a practice or watches a preseason game, it's well known Andy Dalton will quarterback the team until some undefined point in the future.
"Andy has just completely taken me under his wing," Fields said, as minicamp ended in mid-June. "Any question that I have for him he's going to answer, even when I'm throwing.
"I think there was one day after OTAs, I was throwing extra after practice and he stayed out there specifically to see maybe what I was doing wrong. He was just trying to help me out. So I mean working on the details for sure."
It's easier to be the mentor when the coach has guaranteed your start. Dalton can feel comfortable going forward for now because of his experience.
"Some of the stages that we're at right now, which is very normal for a rookie that we're going through with Justin—he's already conquered that, meaning Andy," coach Matt Nagy said.
So as the learning will take place for Fields, there will be no real competition even if Nagy wants to keep calling it competition.
As players get checked in for Wednesday's first practice, and GM Ryan Pace and Nagy answer questions from the media on Tuesday, here are the real questions that need answering about this team.
As could be expected, the really important ones pertain to Fields, and there are none about COVID-19. If they haven't figured out they need to be vaccinated by now to play this season after the rules adopted by the NFL, then they should have opted out.
1. Can we get a ballpark figure on Justin Fields?
Nagy has left it up to the imagination when Fields will replace Dalton, if he does this season. One popular website has said the plan stated was for him to play sometime near midseason. This is as false as false reporting gets.
Nagy gave no time and no one has. He is following a plan. "The plan is the plan," he said.
Nagy has the plan from Kansas City, and if he followed it to the tee then it might not even include Fields playing this year. The Chiefs wouldn't have been able to start Patrick Mahomes in his first year, except for the fact they had all their playoff situations wrapped up late in the year.
A year from now we might be sitting here waiting for a Fields regular-season debut.
So how about a ballpark figure?
2. How does Dalton play himself out of a job?
If Pace and Nagy won't talk about when to expect Fields is good enough to play, then how about how bad Dalton must be to get yanked? This one would never be addressed since it's too negative and assumes failure. Chicago has seen one of these bridge projects already and the bridge (Mike Glennon) collapsed. The quarterback he was linking to wasn't exactly a smashing success, either (Mitchell Trubisky).
3. If Nagy couldn't call plays last year, why now?
Nagy voluntarily gave up calling plays. The Bears made the playoffs, although they only went 3-4 in games when Bill Lazor was the primary play caller.
The only explanation Nagy gave was that it's a new year and he likes doing it. There must be more to it and why do they believe he'll succeed now?
4. Why are they so exposed at cornerback?
Pace is counting on an aging, often-injured veteran in Desmond Trufant, and first-, second- and third-year players who have no history of success in the NFL to fill two vital cornerback spots. This seems like sure lunacy with the emphasis so much now on passing in the league. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings refused to rely on inexperience in the secondary and brought in capable veterans who could take the jobs. What is it Pace saw in Kindle Vildor, Duke Shelley, Thomas Graham Jr. and Trufant to convince him this is a competitive group?
5. Why should Bears fans have faith Sean Desai?
The new Bears defensive coordinator is a great planner as a former quality control coach, and was a position coach, but hasn't called defenses against opponents in games. He's going to go into Week 1 against the Rams totally raw when it comes to this. Brandon Staley succeeded at doing this with L.A. and is now a head coach. Does Desai have this touch? This one can't be answered until Sept. 12 because no one is matching wits during a preseason game with defensive schemes.
6. Is there a plan if Teven Jenkins initially fails?
Like at cornerback, the Bears have left themselves in a predicament at tackle courtesy of Pace. The backup left tackle is Elijah Wilkinson. He's been a right tackle and a guard, not a left tackle. Unlike at cornerback, Jenkins at least has a high draft pedigree as a second-rounder who many felt should have gone in Round 1. But the Bears have certainly had more than their share of tackles fail after they were chosen early. So Wilkinson is the plan if this happens again or at least initially the progress is slow? Someone with no experience on that side of the line? Really? Seriously?