Insider Drops Telling Info on Justin Fields’ Future With Bears

Justin Fields

Getty Justin Fields reacts after losing against the Washington Commanders at Soldier Field on October 13.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has 11 games left in the 2022 regular season to impress first-year general manager Ryan Poles and the team’s regime.

So far, it hasn’t been pretty for the second-year signal-caller.

Heading into Week 7, Fields is currently ranked 30th in the league in passer rating (72.7), and per Next Gen Stats, his 54.8 completion percentage is the worst in the NFL despite his having the second-longest time to throw in the league (3.03 seconds).

Fields has yet to throw more than 208 yards in a game this year, and he has tossed just two touchdowns since Chicago’s season opening win over the San Francisco 49ers. After six games, the 23-year-old QB has completed 63 passes out of 115 attempts for 869 yards, four TDs and five interceptions, also rushing for 282 yards and a score (stats via Pro Football Reference).

If Fields doesn’t start showing marked improvement over the next 11 games, one prominent NFL insider says the Bears could very well move on from him after the season.

Adam Caplan: This Is a Tryout Year for Fields

In an October 14 appearance on SportsGrid radio, insider Adam Caplan, who has covered the NFL for over 20 years, called the Bears’ passing attack “embarrassing,” and pointed the finger primarily at Fields.

“They have better passing personnel, I’m told, on their roster than is shown,”Caplan said. “Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, their tight end, who they really like.”

“They’d like to get him the ball more,” Caplan said about Kmet, “but here’s what happens with Fields: (He) calls the play, waits, he surveys the field and doesn’t throw the football. Then what happens is he gets hit and people blame the offensive line when it’s actually on him.”

Fields has been sacked a league-high 23 times already, the result of both a subpar offensive line and the young QB holding on to the ball too long while also missing open receivers.

Regardless of how badly Fields struggles this year, Caplan says there’s no way the Bears will go to backup Trevor Siemian. They’ll ride the season out with Fields as their QB. “Trevor Siemian is a good backup quarterback. He’s not going to solve your issues. They’ve gotta stick with Justin Fields and just live with it,” Caplan said, adding Fields had better show signs of growth if he wants to continue leading the team.

“Remember now, the one key thing here … this coaching staff, and more particular the GM, Ryan Poles, inherited this quarterback,” Caplan noted. “This, to me, is a tryout year. The kid’s gotta play better. If not, I would not guarantee that Justin Fields will be the quarterback next year.”

Bears Coach Matt Eberflus Wants to See Improvement From Fields

The Bears have an 11-day gap between their October 13 loss to the Washington Commanders and their upcoming Week 7 contest against the New England Patriots, and head coach Matt Eberflus says he wants to see improvements from the passing game, which currently ranks dead last in the NFL (122.8 yards per game).

“We need to improve our passing game,” Eberflus said on October 18. “In situations, we need to improve. We know that, so we’re going to work diligently to get that done.”

The Bears coach also made it clear what he’d like to see from Fields moving forward.

“You can make small, incremental improvements as you go,” Eberflus said. “That’s with anybody. You can learn to read your keys and see what the coverages are faster. You can identify that pre-snap-post-snap a little bit faster.”

It’s certainly not a given that the Bears will part ways with Fields if he doesn’t improve soon. The young quarterback still has two years left on his rookie contract after this season, and the team will be able to put him in a much better position to succeed next year, when its salary cap will be over $100 million.

Still, Caplan has a point about Fields being inherited by Poles — and if Chicago’s GM doesn’t want to move forward with him at QB, the Bears could start over at the position. Again.

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