Since the moment Justin Fields was drafted by the Chicago Bears, he has been behind the 8-ball.
It’s almost as if there was nothing Fields could ever do to impress Matt Nagy enough to convince his head coach he was capable of being the Bears’ starting quarterback.
Throughout OTA’s, it was Andy Dalton. Throughout training camp, it was Andy Dalton. Every second of Fields’ journey, he’s been the backup. Nagy has yet to give Fields a fair shot to earn the starting job, and it’s almost as if his failure to do so is coming back to bite the head coach.
Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton suffered a knee injury and will now likely miss at least Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. Nagy will have no choice but to roll Fields out there as the Bears’ starting quarterback — and now the kid gets his chance.
Chicago Bears rookie Justin Fields has an opportunity to put Nagy’s continued incompetence on full display.
The number one thing that stood out in the game against Cincinnati wasn’t Fields’ interception. It wasn’t his deep shot to Allen Robinson which was ultimately dropped. It wasn’t his dime ball to Darnell Mooney that resulted in another drop.
It wasn’t even the beautiful completion he did have to Mooney, or the first down conversion he ran for in order to secure the victory.
The biggest takeaway from Sunday was the fact that Fields hasn’t been given enough reps with the first team offense. As obvious as it’s been to practically the entire football world, Nagy has continued to disallow his rookie to have adequate time with the ones. As Fields said himself, he’ll just use this week’s practice to correct the things that need to be corrected.
Nagy has continued to reiterate the fact that Dalton is his starter, and that’s fine. However, he has to know that at some point this season, it will be Fields’ time to shine. If he doesn’t understand that, then he is missing the train completely. He’s lost.
Now, with a full week of practice with the first team, Fields has his shot. This is his time. This is his opportunity to prove that the last five months have been a complete waste of valuable time by his head coach. Failing to give Fields enough time to gain chemistry with the first team is going to be Nagy’s greatest regret — Fields just needs to prove that on Sunday.
This seems like something everyone has been waiting for Fields to do. He just needed his shot. Now that it’s finally here, all eyes will be on the rookie.
But, as we’ve come to learn about Fields, he was built for this. The spotlight is something he’s relished his entire life. The pressure is only coming from the outside. Fields has told us, from the beginning, that he was made for this position and he knows how to handle it.
The calmness he brings with him, along with the stout confidence, is something you only typically see from a tenured veteran. This kid gets it, and he’s gotten it all along. Bears fans have been justifiably ecstatic since the moment he was drafted, because he exudes confidence and swagger.
There is no bigger moment in Week 3 than the moment Fields takes the field against the Browns. This is his time, and there’s no looking back now.