Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey is shutting down the rumors of head coach Matt Nagy being fired.
Following a report that claims Nagy will be fired following the team’s Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions, the Bears chairman is saying the report is a “complete lie,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Where it stands with Matt Nagy before today’s game vs. Detroit: George McCaskey and Ted Phillips both told him this week’s report was a ‘complete lie,’ per sources. Nagy has not been told by anyone he’s being fired. McCaskey spoke to team Weds, and told players what he told Nagy.”
The Bears are currently at a record of 3-7 following a five-game losing streak. Calls for Nagy’s firing have been heard throughout local sports events around the Chicago area, including a Chicago Bulls game, Nagy’s son’s high school football game and an AEW event this past Wednesday.
Nagy — in the midst of his fourth season with the Bears — denied the rumors during media availability on Tuesday, November 23.
“That is not accurate,” Nagy said. “I have great communication with ownership, George [McCaskey] and Ted [Phillips] and Ryan [Pace], and I have not had any discussions [on that].”
McCaskey Led Directive to Start Fields
The 43-year-old head coach has actually led the Bears to two postseason appearances in his three years with the franchise, including a playoff berth last year.
However, the Bears’ regression this season — along with Nagy’s handling of rookie quarterback Justin Fields — has led to unhappiness amongst Bears fans.
Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton began the season as the Bears’ starting quarterback. It wasn’t until Week 5 that Fields was named the permanent starting quarterback. According to a report by Shaw Media’s Hub Arkush, it was McCaskey’s call to start Fields — not Nagy’s.
“It’s unclear how the directive was given to the coaching staff, whether there was a conversation in person between McCaskey and Bears head coach Matt Nagy, or if general manager Ryan Pace was directed to give the instructions to Nagy. The move was against the wishes of Nagy, per multiple sources.”
It took a knee injury to Dalton to wipe him away from the starting lineup. And even after that knee injury, Nagy maintained that he would be the starter once he was healthy.
Nagy’s insistence on keeping Dalton — an over-the-hill 34-year-old quarterback — as the starter over the franchise’s future in Fields just did more to alienate the fan base.
Justin Fields ‘Should Be Back Shortly’
Fields is currently dealing with a cracked rib injury and will not start on Thanksgiving versus the Lions. However, he could return soon after an MRI revealed “tiny fractures” in his ribs, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“Justin Fields suffered several cracked ribs,” says Rapoport “This reveal after X-rays were negative, CT scan was negative. The MRI revealed the hairline fracture. Should be back shortly.”
The Bears won’t play their Week 13 game for another 10 days against the Arizona Cardinals — which gives Fields extra time to return to the starting lineup.