Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced at a news conference Oct. 6 that former Ohio State quarterback and 2021 NFL Draft first-round pick Justin Fields will be Chicago’s starting quarterback moving forward, after earning his first two starts against Cleveland on Sept. 26 and Detroit on Oct. 3 in place of former starter Andy Dalton, who was dealing with an injury.
“He’s done everything to show us that he’s ready for this opportunity,” Nagy said. “… He’s grown to this point. He’s earned it. He’s worked hard. And now he has this opportunity.”
After a brutal start to his career as QB1 against the Browns that saw Fields sacked nine times for 67 yards while completing just 6 of his 20 passes for 68 yards (one net yard). Despite that slow start, Ryan Day, his former coach, gave Fields a vote of confidence when asked about the tough start.
“Not a great start, but there’s a lot of young quarterbacks that haven’t had great starts,” Day said. “You think about Peyton Manning’s rookie season and everything he went through there, the hardest thing in that league is just pulling yourself off the canvas and continuing to work through. He and I talked about that after the Northwestern game (last year), when you go to the NFL, you’re going to have several days like this.
“Days you’ll wake up and you have to go figure it out again. I think what survives in that league is the resilience of young quarterbacks that identify what went wrong and get better and fix it. One thing I know about him is that he’s competitively tough, he’ll fix the problems and he’ll be back.”
The former Buckeye earned his first career win against the Lions a week later.
He was 11-of-17 passing for 209 yards, taking only one sack. He’s yet to throw a touchdown pass, but did make several impressive plays against the 0-4 Lions.
Fields will suit up for the 2-2 Bears this weekend, on the road in the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium – his first road start.