(670 The Score) It is, admittedly, somewhat tempting to read into Bears reserve quarterback Nick Foles' absence from the organized team activities (OTAs) happening at Halas Hall this week. Though there were plenty of notable no-shows on the defensive side, Foles was one of only two absent offensive players, with the other being star receiver Allen Robinson. On Wednesday afternoon, however, coach Matt Nagy dispelled the idea that there was anything to speculate about.
"Nick’s been here every day, he’s been here the whole time," he said. "He has a personal deal that he’s working with right now. It’s all voluntary, but just so everyone is aware, he’s been here every day. He’s just dealing with some personal things right now and he wasn’t here."
The Bears don't expect Foles to be at Halas Hall on Thursday either, and Nagy added that it might be next week before Foles reports again. Still, rumors of his impending departure have popped up all offseason, and now that Foles is officially behind both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields on the depth chart, his future in Chicago seems murky at best after he played in nine games for the Bears in 2020, including seven starts.
"Nick and I have talked and he understands that going into this, that Justin is going to get the (No.) 2 reps and that Nick’s going to get the (No.) 3 reps," Nagy said. "And Nick is a true pro and understands it, is still very competitive, and that’s why I say like in all these meetings, it’s just really special to see how they’re trying to help Justin out and teach him how to play quarterback and how to watch film and study this offense. But also Justin's helping them too, with what he sees, so it’s been really good.”
Even if Dalton starts Week 1, it's clear that Nagy and the rest of the Bears coaching staff are already prioritizing Fields' progression. When asked about his vision for the type of role that Foles would take on this season, Nagy instead stressed "how valuable it is for Justin to get his reps" before noting that "Andy obviously (has) to get his reps too." For now, the Bears are more than happy to enjoy the luxury of having two successful veterans helping navigate Fields through his first months as an NFL quarterback -- even if they know there are probably some uncomfortable business decisions on the horizon.
"It’s been fun for me to get to be around him and follow his career from afar," said Dalton, who has known Foles since they were both star high school quarterbacks in Texas. "We’ve talked some. To finally get to be in the same room has been great. It’s a great room. Nick and I both are trying to share our experiences with Justin. Just trying to help him in any way.”