Dec 26, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy stands on the sideline during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Bears coach Matt Nagy says he expects to finish out season

As rumors continue to swirl around coach Matt Nagy’s future with the Chicago Bears, he was asked during media availability on Monday if he expects to be coaching for the team’s final two games this season.

“Yes,” he said.

He was a lot more effusive over the effort his team gave in Sunday’s 25-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

“One thing you can always evaluate is effort from players,” Nagy said. “You never know (what the result will be). But you can always judge effort. We saw that yesterday. … You value that. It states to who the players are in this building. They deserve that and they deserve to have the feeling to win. It’s been a little while. When you get a chance to get a win, you’ve got to enjoy it. And for me personally, I’m just really happy for the players.”

The Bears (5-10), one of eight NFL teams already eliminated from playoff contention, snapped a three-game losing streak Sunday. Chicago has never fired a coach in-season, but a new NFL rule lets teams interview candidates the final two weeks of the season if a coach has already left the team or has been notified he will not return the following season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Justin Fields (ribs) to remain starter upon return

Injured Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields will remain the starter when he returns from cracked ribs, head coach Matt Nagy said Friday.

Fields was ruled out of Thursday’s game at Detroit and Andy Dalton led the Bears (4-7) to a 16-14 victory to end a five-game losing streak.

A prior NFL Network report said the rookie’s rib fractures were tiny and it was not considered a significant injury.

“When Justin is healthy, he’s the starter,” Nagy said. “It’s pretty simple.”

Fields was injured in last Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Sitting out Thursday’s game gave him 10 days to recover before Chicago’s Dec. 5 date with the Arizona Cardinals.

Fields, 22, has thrown for 1,361 yards with four touchdowns against eight interceptions in 10 games (eight starts) this season. He has rushed for 311 yards and two scores.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bears chairman tells players Matt Nagy is staying

Matt Nagy is staying with the Chicago Bears. That’s if the team’s chairman, George McCaskey, is to be believed.

Multiple outlets have reported that McCaskey met with Bears players and coaches Wednesday, telling the team there was no truth to the report that their head coach would be fired after the Bears (3-7) play the Detroit Lions (0-9-1) on Thanksgiving Day.

Neither McCaskey nor anyone else in the front office has yet to comment on the matter publicly.

On Tuesday, Nagy denied the Patch.com report that said the Detroit game would be his last.

“That is not accurate,” Nagy said, adding that he didn’t expect any public votes of confidence as his attention was preparing for the Lions.

“We all have our own decisions as to how we do things, and I think this whole entire time, for me and for ownership, we’ve had great communication,” Nagy said. “Again, it’s focused on Detroit. That’s what it is.”

The Bears have lost five consecutive games and will start backup Andy Dalton at quarterback against the winless Lions.

Nagy’s Bears have scored just 163 points this season as they’ve tried to work in rookie first-round draft pick Justin Fields into the fold, despite Nagy’s background as an offensive coach. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Lions have scored fewer points.

Nagy has finished 8-8 the last two seasons after going 12-4 and winning the NFC North in his first season as Bears coach in 2018.

“My focus is on these players and Detroit, and that’s it. That’s my job as a head coach and a leader, is to do that. These players have been amazing,” he said. “They’ve been great. You have this quick turnaround after a loss like (Sunday’s to the Ravens), and now here you go. The only thing we can do is focus on the now and do everything we can. Thursday is going to be here quickly.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy voices his displeasure on a call in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 29-27. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Fired Matt Nagy? Bears coach denies he’s out

Bears head coach Matt Nagy denied the franchise informed him he would be fired this weekend.

A report early Tuesday cited high-level team sources and said Nagy would be fired after the Bears play the Detroit Lions (0-9-1) on Thanksgiving Day.

The Bears (3-7) have lost five consecutive games and will start backup Andy Dalton at Ford Field against the winless Lions.

“That is not accurate,” Nagy said Tuesday, adding that he hasn’t talked to anyone in the organization about his job status.

There is clamoring for Nagy’s job from fans, however. During a high school playoff game in the far North Chicago suburbs, fans in Cary Grove (Ill.) broke into a “Fire Nagy” chant just as the capacity crowd at the United Center did during the Chicago Bulls-Indiana Pacers game on Monday.

Ownership and general manager Ryan Pace didn’t comment on the report, nor did it release any denial of the report of Nagy’s imminent firing. Nagy said he wasn’t expecting any outward vote of confidence as the Bears focus on the business of winning the holiday game.

“We all have our own decisions as to how we do things, and I think this whole entire time, for me and for ownership, we’ve had great communication. Again, it’s focused on Detroit. That’s what it is,” Nagy said.

A podcast Monday featuring Jordan Schultz, a media member who partnered with Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson on a previous basketball podcast, also spent time detailing how the locker room was anti-Nagy. Robinson said the commentary that “a majority” of the locker room wanted Nagy gone didn’t come from him.

“I haven’t had any input with that,” Robinson said. “I mean, me and him did a basketball podcast. Everything that we have from a podcast standpoint, relationship standpoint had been based on covering basketball and based on talking about basketball.”

A former offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, Nagy’s Bears have scored just 163 points this season. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Lions have scored fewer.

Nagy has two 8-8 seasons since going 12-4 and winning the NFC North in his first season as head coach in 2018.

“My focus is on these players and Detroit, and that’s it. That’s my job as a head coach and a leader, is to do that. These players have been amazing,” he said. “They’ve been great. You have this quick turnaround after a loss like (Sunday’s to the Ravens), and now here you go. The only thing we can do is focus on the now and do everything we can. Thursday is going to be here quickly.”

Following Thursday’s game, the Bears have 10 days to prepare to host the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) and then hit the road to play the Green Bay Packers (8-3) in Week 14.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bears coach Matt Nagy (COVID protocol) out vs. 49ers

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy remains quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 and will not be on the sideline against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will handle the head-coaching responsibilities for Sunday’s contest in Chicago. Tabor, who worked for the Bears from 2008-10 before returning to the club in 2018, ran practices this week at Halas Hall.

Tabor’s lone head coaching experience came in 2001 at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo.

Nagy, who tested positive on Monday, is 31-24 in three-plus seasons as Bears head coach.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bears coach Matt Nagy tests positive for COVID-19

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy announced Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19 amid a team outbreak.

It’s a breakthrough case for Nagy, who is fully vaccinated. He said he doesn’t have any symptoms, adding that he found out Monday morning from head trainer Andre Tucker.

NFL Network reported the team is now in enhanced mitigation protocols, which requires masks to be worn by everybody and daily testing, regardless of vaccination status.

Nagy will need to return two negative tests 24 hours apart in order to be able to return to Halas Hall and in time for Sunday’s game against the visiting San Francisco 49ers. He’s conducting meetings via Zoom. Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will run team meetings in his absence.

The Bears (3-4) have four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including linebacker Caleb Johnson and right tackle Elijah Wilkinson. Those two players went on the list Sunday morning, hours ahead of kickoff in Tampa. Robert Quinn and Jimmy Graham were put on the list last week.

Running back Damien Williams was activated off the reserve/COVID list Saturday after missing one game. He played in the Bears’ 38-3 loss to the Buccaneers.

Receivers coach Mike Furrey missed the team’s Week 6 game but returned Sunday.

Nagy, 43, is 31-24 in three-plus seasons as Bears head coach.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) leaves the field after the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

‘This is Justin’s time’: Bears name rookie Fields as starting QB

Rookie Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears — at least for the foreseeable future.

Just two days ago, coach Matt Nagy said Andy Dalton would return to the starting role when he had fully recovered from a knee injury. But Wednesday, Nagy said Dalton was cleared to return to practice but he’d be doing so as No. 2 on the depth chart.

Fields, who won his first NFL game on Sunday in a 24-14 victory over the Detroit Lions, has earned the starting job, Nagy said.

“This is Justin’s time, we’re so confident moving forward,” he said Wednesday.

Fields will start Sunday for the Bears (2-2) when they meet the Raiders (3-1) in Las Vegas.

“What needs to be understood (is) the plan and process we had going into this was important,” Nagy said. “When Andy got hurt with his knee, that sped the plan up. I have always said from the beginning, we’ll know and he’s done everything to show us he’s ready for this opportunity.”

Dalton injured his left knee in the second quarter of a Sept. 19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fields, the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards with one interception against the Lions.

Fields, 22, has completed 48.1 percent of his passes for 347 yards, two picks and no touchdowns this season. He has rushed for 55 yards and one score.

Dalton, who turns 34 this month, has completed 73.5 percent of his throws for 262 yards with one TD and one pick.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields to get start in Bears’ preseason finale

Chicago rookie quarterback Justin Fields will get the start in the Bears’ final preseason game this weekend, coach Matt Nagy announced Tuesday.

Fields will get two quarters of work vs. the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

Andy Dalton has been tabbed the Week 1 starter. Fields played behind Dalton in the team’s first two preseason games.

Fields threw for 142 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another in his first outing, then followed that with another 80 yards passing and 46 yards rushing last week vs. Buffalo.

Dalton went 11-for-17 with 146 yards and a TD pass against the Bills but had to endure Bears fans chanting Fields’ name.

“I really think it’s kind of disrespectful to Andy, them cheering my name out like that,” Fields told reporters Sunday. “Just cheer him on, you know? That’s not helping Andy play better, to cheer my name. That’s not doing none of that. My advice to them would be just cheer whoever’s on the field.”

The Bears open the season Sept. 12 on the road against the Los Angeles Rams.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2021; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) catches the ball during a Chicago Bears training camp session at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Matt Nagy: Teams will have interest in Nick Foles

Not many Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are third-stringers on NFL rosters. But that’s where QB Nick Foles happens to be on the Chicago Bears’ depth chart.

However, the 10-year veteran might not stay there for long, considering how much teams always seem to need a quarterback. One of those teams might be the Indianapolis Colts, whose starter — Carson Wentz — is out indefinitely after suffering a foot injury on Thursday at practice.

Bears coach Matt Nagy is someone who appreciates Foles’ value and wouldn’t be surprised if the Colts — or any other team — come calling for Foles.

“… You’re talking about a Super Bowl MVP and a guy that’s started a lot of games,” Nagy told reporters before practice on Saturday. “He’s had a really interesting career in so many ways that I just think that he deserves that.”

Nagy added that he and Foles have not talked about a potential trade since training camp started.

“I don’t talk to him about that; he doesn’t talk to me about it,” Nagy said. “We just don’t go there because, again, that’s out of our control. He’s worrying about doing everything he can to just be great for us, and that’s what I like about our relationship. He’s happy with where he’s at here and he’s in a good place.”

That place is currently behind starter Andy Dalton and first-round pick Justin Fields. In nine games — seven starts — for the Bears last season, Foles passed for 1,852 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions while splitting snaps with Mitchell Trubisky, who signed with the Buffalo Bills in the offseason.

The MVP of Super Bowl LII, Foles has played for five NFL teams, including two stints with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has played 67 regular-season games and has gone 28-27 in 55 starts.

Foles, 32, also appears to be reasonably affordable. His salary-cap charge for 2021 is $6.7 million.

Nagy values Foles’ experience and ability but knows snaps might be hard to find. The coach also respects Foles for how he has dealt with a challenging first week of training camp.

“I would say probably 95% of people in Nick’s situation would handle it completely opposite of the way he’s handled it, from the time that I brought him in and told him that he was going be the third-string quarterback,” Nagy said. “And I have to give so much credit to him because he accepted it. He understood it.”

The Colts signed veteran QB Brett Hundley on Saturday. But it remains to be seen if Foles will still be with the Bears before the 2021 NFL season kicks off.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy looks on during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Matt Nagy to be virtual after high-risk close contact

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy was deemed a high-risk close contact of a family member who tested positive for COVID-19 and will participate virtually when the team holds its rookie minicamp this weekend, NFL Network reported Thursday.

He is in the process of getting vaccinated, according to the report.

Nagy will run meetings — which already were virtual — via Zoom.

The 43-year-old Nagy enters his fourth season as Bears coach with a 28-20 record and two playoff appearances.

–Field Level Media