From the moment the Chicago Bears traded up for quarterback Justin Fields, the world has been waiting for him to make his debut. And Fields made his NFL debut Sunday against the Rams, to the beat of five plays.
Fields completed 2-of-2 passes for 10 yards and added a 3-yard rushing touchdown. He didn’t set the world on fire with those five plays, but he showed exactly what he brings to this offense.
While it wasn’t a surprise to hear Matt Nagy name veteran Andy Dalton the starter from the get-go, the expectation was that would change as training camp and preseason went along, especially after what Fields showed he can bring to the offense, even as a rookie.
Instead, we’ve had to listen to Nagy and GM Ryan Pace say, in regards to when Fields is finally ready, “We’ll know when we know.”
Well, the players know. Fans know. Analysts know. Now, the offensive coordinator knows. So what exactly are we waiting for?
“From the outside looking at it, he looked like he belonged, ” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said about Fields’ mini-debut. “He looked like he could be successful. Nothing was too big for him, which we didn’t think it would be. Looked like he had fun.”
While Fields got some experience on the field, five plays didn’t seem like enough, especially when you have someone as talented as him who adds an extra layer to this offense.
When asked whether Fields could handle a full series — or least more than a small package of plays — Lazor said nothing’s changed with his belief that Fields is ready.
“I would have said after the preseason that he’s moving quickly and ready for whatever’s thrown at him,” Lazor said. “So I don’t think anything’s changed.”
If Lazor believes he’s ready, what’s the holdup?
“I think Matt has probably addressed what his philosophy is on the quarterback position,” Lazor said. “I don’t think that’s any different. I don’t think there’s any reason for me to answer that.”
Simply put: It’s not my call.
Lazor has made it clear he believes Fields is ready to go — he’s felt that way since preseason — but he’s not the one in charge. Whenever Fields eventually gets the green light to step in as starter, it’ll require a final sign-off from Nagy.
While Nagy might be attempting to prolong Fields’ introduction into the NFL, there’s only so long he can keep his prized rookie on the bench if the losses and poor offensive outings pile up.
Fields will be starting sooner rather than later, even though he should’ve been the starter from the beginning.
7 things to know heading into Bears vs. Bengals in Week 2
View 7 items
NFC North standings heading into Week 2
View 4 items
Twitter reacts to Bears WR Marquise Goodwin throwing shade at Matt Nagy
View 42 items