Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has quickly developed into one of the most electric players in the NFL.
Fields throws one of the best deep balls in the league. And every time he takes off running, he’s a threat to score.
Those two elements have made the Bears’ offense exciting to watch this season despite Chicago’s lackluster 3-10 record.
Fields’ ability to run brings a dynamic element to the Bears’ offense, but it also exposes the former Ohio State quarterback to some unnecessary hits.
Because of those potential hits, Fields is trying to be a bit more cautious when running.
And we saw that on Sunday in Chicago’s 28-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
At one point during the game, Fields rushed for nine yards, and instead of trying to gain a few more yards, he slid before picking up the first down in order to avoid a big hit from Packers defensive back Adrian Amos.
After the game, Fields was asked by a reporter about his decision to slide.
Fields admitted he was trying to protect his recently injured shoulder while also acknowledging that if he thought he could’ve scored, he would’ve kept running.
“I’m not going to do that with my shoulder, no sir,” said Fields on Sunday. “I’m not supposed to do that today. I thought I had first down. But the quarterback rule is where you start to slide or whatever. If I think I can score on the touchdown run, then I’m going to take a chance on that. But I didn’t think I had a chance to score on that.”
I don’t think Fields is going to suddenly start sliding all the time. If he thinks he can score, he’s going to go for it. Inevitably, he’s going to take some hits. He’s not going to score every time he takes off in the open field.
But if he can limit the big hits — especially in short-yardage situations where Fields is just trying to pick up a first down — it will help greatly with keeping the dynamic quarterback healthy.
No one wants to see Fields eschew long touchdown runs in favor of short gains, but no one wants to see him badly injured, either. This is just Fields being smart, knowing that if he’s on the sidelines injured, he’s not helping his team win games.
Featured image via Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
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