There is a strange set of circumstances regarding the Chicago Bears game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.
After a four-turnover performance by rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent during the team’s loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, there is an expectation that Bears starting quarterback Justin Fields will return after missing the previous three weeks with a dislocated right thumb.
Fields returned to practice in a limited capacity on Friday and if he makes the start on Thursday, there certainly will be a storyline of what the Bears have in Fields against what they could have had in Panthers’ rookie quarterback Bryce Young.
The Bears had the opportunity to select Young with the 2023 first overall selection but decided to deal the pick to the Panthers for a package that included wide receiver D.J. Moore and Carolina’s 2024 first-round selection.
It is that very selection that makes Thursday night a must-win game for the Bears.
The Panthers are currently 1-7 on the season and if the season ended today, the Bears would be selecting in the 2024 NFL Draft by Carolina’s pick. It’s also worth noting that the Bears’ own 2024 first-round pick would be third overall if the season ended today.
The Chicago Bears are facing a must-win game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football as the team plans for Justin Fields’ return.
That would be the reason why the Bears need to win on Thursday as a way to better their chances of selecting first overall in the upcoming draft.
That is also why Thursday will be a fascinating watch for Bears fans. The Bears need Fields, the once-believed answer at the quarterback position, to return on Thursday night and defeat the Panthers as a way of bettering their chances of taking their next believed answer at the quarterback position.
Unlike last off-season where the Bears weren’t sold on Young or CJ Stroud, it would seem likely that the team will prefer USC”s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye as opposed to bringing Fields back for a fourth season. By the way, Stroud set an NFL record on Sunday for rookie quarterbacks by throwing for 470 yards and 5 touchdowns.