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Good morning, frents!
And a begrudging welcome back from the weekend. Hope everyone got in at least one good barbecue, fantasy draft or last swim.
Also: Hopefully you weren't this guy who took a wrong exit off LSD.
Cubs 4, Reds 3
Reds at Cubs (6:40, Marquee)
Sox at A's (8:40, NBCSCH)
Justin Fields role in Week 1: Major decoy?
Let the gamesmanship begin.
Rams coach Sean McVay said on Monday his team would be "naive" to not prepare to see Justin Fields "in some form or fashion" during Sunday night's opener in Los Angeles.
So the Rams practice squad is running packages for both Andy Dalton and Fields, even if Matt Nagy has been adamant since May that the Red Rifle is QB1 for now.
"Andy Dalton's a really good quarterback and he'll be a great challenge," McVay said " And then you see the ways that Justin (Fields) made a lot of plays going back to his career at Ohio State (and) what he showed in the preseason. So, I think you got to be ready for either or."
Fair enough. McVay has probably cooked up worse justifications to stay at the team's facility 28 hours a day so he can tell the next national reporter that comes to do a story.
For his part, Nagy was only too happy to keep the door slightly ajar during his own Monday news conference, telling reporters that he and his staff have talked through every situation that could lead Fields to being handed the car keys.
That presumably includes Dalton and the offense stalling in the first half like the Bears have in their past couple of trips to Los Angeles.
"We play out scenarios," Nagy said. "Sometimes you can get caught up in emotional decisions and I think I have to be really strong there and understand the why."
Here's the whole clip, most of which can best be described as "talking to fill time." The original poster of the clip seems really invested in reading into Nagy's comments as much as possible, but I'd be shocked if anything happens that leads to Dalton not getting at least the month of September.
Particularly if Nagy is talking about not making an emotional decision.
Could we see Fields for a series on in a Taysom Hill-type cameo? That's also an interesting suggestion, but employing that correctly takes an offense on much firmer ground where the Bears currently reside.
And let's not forget that the last time Nagy tried doing his best Sean Payton, it ended with MItchell Trubisky separating his shoulder while Payton watched from the other sideline.
If Nagy wants to go further in on using Fields as a decoy, by all means. But the rookie's biggest contribution in Week 1 should probably remain playing the part of Matt Stafford on the scout team.
News and results
Cubs win seventh in a row behind who else?
The Cubs: Still hot. Frank Schwindel? Even hotter. The first baseman hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning to key a 4-3 holiday win over the Reds at Wrigley.
- The RBI capped a big weekend for Schwindel, which included a game-winning grand slam on Sunday. Elias says he's only the second player in baseball history to record a go-ahead RBI in the sixth inning or later for four consecutive games.
- Schwindel's eight-game hitting streak is the biggest reason for the Cubs' longest win streak of the season. He's hitting .441 (15 for 34) with six homers and 14 RBI over that span.
- But don't sleep on the bullpen, which has only allowed two earned runs over the past 35 innings.
Next: Adrian Sampson (0-1, 1.59) vs. Wade Miley (11-5, 2.97)
Sox hit Oakland down three starters
The Sox magic number is down to 17, but it might be a challenge to whittle it down significantly against Oakland and Boston this week. Despite an original plan to give Carlos Rodon a week between starts, the Sox are pushing him back even farther in his ongoing battle with arm fatigue in the second half. With Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito also serving IL stints, that means the Sox will go into Oakland with planned starts from Jimmy Lambert, Dallas Keuchel and Reynaldo Lopez.
Next: Lambert (0-1, 9.00) vs. Frankie Montas (11-9, 3.68)
Bulls fill out roster with three depth pieces
The preseason opener on October 5 is less than a month away and the Bulls are making the final tweaks on their roster. Paul Millsap opted for Brooklyn over the Bulls, so the front office responded by signing Stanley Johnson. Alize Johnson and Matt Thomas are also on board. Vijay Vemu of Blogabull has more details.
- ESPN simulated the season 20,000 times with the Bears walking out with 7.4 wins and 9.5 losses. And, I guess, a tenth of a tie. BearsWire
- Dennis Rodman says he doesn't watch basketball any more because he doesn't like three-pointers. Maybe he's just jealous? Rodman made only 12 of the 69 threes he attempted in three seasons with the Bulls. Clutch Points
- Ben Pope breaks down which Hawks could be participating in the Beijing Olympics this winter. Sun-Times
- NIU coach Thomas Hammock breaks down the Huskies' great upset of Georgia Tech over the weekend. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- 25 must-see Chicago art murals. Secret Chicago
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