Not everyone is ready to jump on the Justin Fields bandwagon.
The second-year quarterback for the Chicago Bears has been on a tear in recent weeks, racking up 851 passing yards, 455 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns while netting a 100.5 rating over his last five games.
The Bears have a 3-6 record heading into their Week 10 matchup against the Detroit Lions, and despite losing two of their last three games, they have found a rhythm on offense that had eluded them thus far this season. Chicago is averaging over 31 points a game since Week 7, and the team has done it against respectable defenses in New England, Dallas and Miami.
Fields is coming off a record-breaking performance in Week 9, when he set the regular season record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback (178). The Bears QB broke a record that was held for nearly 20 years by Michael Vick, who set the previous mark of 173 yards when he was with the Atlanta Falcons back in 2002.
Despite his recent success, one NFL insider says that the Bears aren’t yet sold on Fields as their franchise quarterback.
NFL Insider: 2023 Isn’t Guaranteed for Justin Fields
Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado, an NFL insider who primarily covers the Denver Broncos, took to Twitter to partake in a back-and-forth with Bears fans on November 7. The topic? The future of Fields and whether or not the Bears believe he can be The Guy.
According to Allbright, his sources are telling him Chicago is still trying to figure out whether or not Fields should be quarterback beyond this season.
Allbright also tweeted that Fields “is auditioning for next year” and isn’t guaranteed the starting QB role beyond 2022.
In addition to calling Fields’ future in Chicago into question, Allbright scoffed at fans saying the Broncos would have been better off drafting Fields than trading for the 24-year-old Russell Wilson, who has been having a down year.
“He stinks throwing anything but passes behind the line of scrimmage and deep shots to wide open guys, the intermediate game is atrocious,” Allbright tweeted about Fields, adding that anyone who thinks Fields is better than Wilson doesn’t know what they are watching.
Bears Wouldn’t Have Added WR Chase Claypool if They Didn’t Like Where Fields Was Going
Just prior to the NFL trade deadline on November 1, Bears general manager Ryan Poles sent a 2023 second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for wide receiver Chase Claypool. After making the trade for Claypool, Poles explained that the progression of his young quarterback was a primary reason for making the move.
“I like the way Justin is trending,” Poles said, per the team’s official website. “And I think adding another big body who’s physical, explosive, great leaping ability, can stretch the field but also is violent with the ball in his hands, as well as a blocker, enhances everyone around him.”
Allbright’s sources may be telling him Fields is still auditioning, but unless something drastic happens, it looks as though the Bears have finally found their quarterback. Allbright is, after all, the only NFL insider making these assertions.
“You see some of those plays from the field level and watch what he does to pull away from people, I think that’s pretty special,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said about Fields on November 9. “He’s uber smart and is running the offense well. He’s getting more comfortable, so that’s what we’re most excited about.”