Justin Fields landed on the COVID-19 list this week. What is his status ahead of the Bears’ final game of the season against Minnesota? Will Fields be available, and is he a potential start for fantasy football managers?
Is Justin Fields playing today vs. the Vikings?
Bears fans want to see Fields take over this team and become the starter, and a Week 18 outing to help him gather game experience would be perfect. However, we will not see Fields in Week 18, as he remains on the reserve/COVID list on game day.
Head coach Matt Nagy announced that Andy Dalton will start the game. Chicago’s decision-makers will likely try and evaluate who will stay with the team heading into 2022 besides Fields. In all likelihood, the Bears will be moving on from Nagy following today’s game. The Bears will then begin their search for a coach who can take Fields and Co. further in future seasons.
Justin Fields’ rookie campaign
Fields took over earlier than many expected, starting his first game for the Bears in Week 3. It took him a while to get up and running, and his first few games were a little clunky. He was also not geared to run the ball, which felt odd, as the game plan forced him to stand in the pocket and throw. We all know that that is not who Fields is.
When allowed to run, Fields can be multi-dimensional and cause problems for a defense, and the new head coach needs to factor that into the game plan.
This season, Fields’ season-high rushing attempts landed at 10. He had 103 rushing yards and a touchdown in that game.
Now, of course, we understand that he’s a quarterback and needs to throw the ball. But so do Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. That doesn’t stop either of them from running when it’s fitting. Designed runs need to be a part of his game for Fields to succeed.
The wrong fit for Chicago’s rookie signal-caller
Ironically enough, when Fields started to run more, his passing game improved parallel to that. Barring a 3-interception game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fields played fairly competently for a rookie against some of the better teams in the league.
Ultimately, the circumstances were poor. Chicago’s coaching staff failed to utilize Allen Robinson correctly all season after forcing him to re-sign on a franchise tag. Furthermore, they never seemed to have an appropriate game plan to play to Fields’ strengths — and that is the No. 1 box that needs ticking in the search for a new head coach.
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