The future of Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields with the 4-8 Monsters of the Midway may be up in the air, but there should be no doubt that the 24-year-old is still very much a bad man with a lot of tools that could burn an opposing defense.
This Sunday’s game with the Detroit Lions should showcase some of that “badness” in a pairing that, realistically, means much more to the Lions than the Bears. For Chicago’s sake, the fans hope that Fields’ “badness” is not literal.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell is one of those who not only recognizes Fields’ game play ability and inherent tools, but also his growth and maturity as a player.
“He’s one of these rare, dangerous players,” Campbell recently told media. “And I’ll tell you what he’s done a really good job of from last year to this year is if it’s a pass and he starts to move, he’s still moving with eyes down the field much more than I felt he had previously and that’s extremely dangerous.”
High praise and accurate praise from a veteran football man.
Fields, however, will have to do his thing with a less-than-healthy roster of wide receivers.
Luckily for the Bears, Fields will have top target DJ Moore on the field as well as Darnell Mooney. However, the depth chart is definitely diminished with Equanimeous St. Brown out (pectoral) and Tyler Scott (hamstring) and Velus Jones (illness) questionable for this weekend’s game in Chicago.
In their last game with the Lions, on November 19 in Detroit, the Bears played very well and seemed in control until the very end when the Lions managed to score fifteen points in the last four minutes to take a 31-26 victory.
In that game, Fields threw 16 completions in 23 attempts and bagged 169 yards with 104 additional yards coming via his rushing ability. His highlight was a 39-yard touchdown pass to DJ Moore in the third quarter.
In the final stretch of the game, though, the 3-year veteran stalled a bit under the Lions’ pressure and made some key mistakes in what was his first game back after a thumb injury. He would fumble the ball on his last snap of the game in a flub that resulted in a safety.
These coming last five weeks of the season are being billed as a trial of sorts for Fields, with a decision regarding his future hanging in the balance. The Bears, who will likely have the overall no. 1 pick in the 2024 draft (as well as two picks in the first five slots) will have the opportunity to select blue chip quarterback prospects Caleb Williams or Drake Maye and many insiders feel that they may lean into a rebuild in the quarterback position by selecting one of them.
There’s also an equally valid thought that the team may keep Fields and continue to build around him by drafting wide receiver Mr. Everything Marvin Harrison Jr. and offensive tackle Joe Alt.
Being real world practical, though, there’s nothing Fields can do about any of the front office decisions. He just has to move forward, keep improving, and focus on winning.
As he told media this past Wednesday: “I’m just focused on what I can control, and the rest is in God’s hands…Wherever, if I’m here next year, if I’m not, football doesn’t define who I am as a person. My happiness will still be in the same place, will still be in God.
“I’ve had moments in my life to where I’ve wanted things to happen that didn’t go that way, and it ended up going another way and it worked out better than I ever could have imagined. That’s really why I just don’t stress about stuff that happens, and just controlling what I control and like I said earlier just being the best person I can be and striving to be the best player I can be.”