Chicago Bears: Justin Fields’ toughness reminiscent of the all-time greats

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images) /

Just a couple of weeks ago, Chicago Bears fans continued to endure the mind-numbing coach speak from Matt Nagy which reiterated that Andy Dalton would be the team’s starter, so long as he’s healthy.

Fast forward to the present, and Dalton is healthy — but Justin Fields is the Bears’ starter going forward.

Things have changed drastically, and the Bears are trending upward. With a 20-9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, the Bears improved to 3-2 with Fields now 2-1 as a starter.

In their win over the Raiders, Fields showed us the gutsiest performance we’ve seen yet in his young career.

Justin Fields is giving the Chicago Bears every ounce of himself, and his refusal to quit is invigorating.

Early in the game, it was evident that the Raiders were going after Fields — which is an obvious key to the game if you’re facing a rookie quarterback. The problem was, Las Vegas was doing so in a way that became questionable in a hurry.

The Raiders were called for two penalties early on after Fields was hit late and in the head. It looked like Las Vegas was head hunting at that point, which the refs sniffed out in a hurry. In total, Fields took four hard hits — three of them to the head — in the first half.

One of those hits came on a spin move — which Fields definitely needs to retire, finally — and saw the rookie get drilled in his kidney. If you know anything about a kidney shot — the MMA fans out there sure do — then you know these aren’t for the faint of heart.

After getting hit in the kidney, Fields went to the sideline as the Bears were forced to punt. The training staff went over and looked him over, and even brought a trash can to his side in case he needed to throw up.

Kidney shots will do that to you.

Fields came back on the next drive without missing a play, but later he also had his leg rolled up on when he was sacked by Yannick Ngakoue. That play was the one to finally knock him out of the game, and in came Dalton — but only for a couple of plays.

Fields re-entered the game just a bit later and ended up sticking it out the remainder of the afternoon.

After the game, the rookie admitted that he knew he had hyperextended his knee on that specific play.

"“I knew I hyperextended it. I was just trying to see if I could get up and I was just able to walk off the field and then after a while I could start feeling my strength getting back, so I was just trying to see how stable it was and seeing if I could run on it.”"

Let’s recap here. Within one half of football, Fields was drilled in the head three times (and hit a total of five overall), took a shot to his kidney which caused some nausea, and hyperextended his knee.

The kid only missed a couple of plays and finished the game. Now that’s toughness. That’s the type of toughness you hear about from guys like Brett Favre, or more recently from quarterbacks like Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford.

Favre played through separated shoulders, torn biceps, broken thumbs and many other injuries on his way to an NFL record 297 consecutive games started.

You may remember last year, Brees played through a punctured lung and several broken ribs. Throughout Stafford’s career, he has played through similar injuries to Favre — separated shoulders, hip injuries and broken thumbs.

Fields is cementing himself as the clear leader of this team, but he’s doing it with his actions. He says very little, but speaks volumes by what he does. He has no quit in him, and it’s not hard to believe considering we watched him finish the Sugar Bowl earlier this year after taking one of the most vicious hits you’ll ever see someone take to their back.

Fields finished that game with a record performance against Clemson, throwing for six touchdown passes even though he said later that the whole right side of his torso was messed up, and even his hip, after taking that hit.

Bears: One clear offensive aspect responsible for win vs. Raiders. light. Trending

This guy’s toughness is nothing new. It’s not a surprise. The Bears have a quarterback who will have to die on that field before he’s taken out for the game. Hopefully, he continues to learn how to protect himself when running. Nonetheless, his gritty and relentless style of play is second to none.