Justin Fields ready to step into starting role with Chicago Bears

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

When Justin Fields learned that he would be named the Chicago Bears starting quarterback, his parents wanted to celebrate. It was a special moment for Fields and a lifelong goal. 

If anything, it was a milestone moment worthy of praise. However, Fields decided to stay home with his dog, Uno, and watch game film. 

"Of course, there is some reason to celebrate, but I'm not just going to be complacent with where I am at," Fields told reporters during his Wednesday press conference. "I am going to continue to grow and continue to get better. I am going to work hard every day to get wins on Sunday."

The Bears will officially usher in the Justin Fields Era against the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET. 

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Fields replaces injured quarterback Andy Dalton in the lineup. The talented rookie started the last two games after being inserted during a Week 2 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

This season, Fields has completed 48.1% of his passes for 347 yards and two interceptions. He also added 55 rushing yards and a touchdown. 

His ascension has impressed the coaching staff. Bears head coach Matt Nagy was proud to see Fields' growth each week. 

"We have been patient with this and we have grown with him," Nagy told reporters. "We are proud of Justin and he has been a great teammate from the very beginning. ... "He's done everything to show us he is ready for this opportunity."

The Bears are 1-1 since Fields took over for Dalton. The veteran quarterback suffered a knee injury against the Bengals. 

In those starts, Fields has brought a new element to the offense. He is a dynamic runner and with a strong arm. After being sacked nine times in his NFL debut, Fields was vastly improved against the Detroit Lions. 

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Fields completed 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards. The Bears also found a rhythm on the ground with 188 rushing yards. 

"I felt like we had a lot of explosive plays on Sunday and that was good to see," Fields said. "There was a lot of stuff that I can get better at." 

Fields didn't expound on things he wanted to clean up after Sunday. Still, it was enough for the Nagy to make a change.

Nagy met with both Fields and Dalton to tell them the news. Fields admitted he was a little surprised, but was overall happy to earn the job.  

"It was definitely a little bit of surprise," Fields told local reporters. "But, I feel like he was pretty straightforward with me and Andy (Dalton). I think my teammates believe in me and I am grateful for the opportunity to try and get ready for work."

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Fields also shared that he spoke with Dalton after the change. He mentioned that Dalton wanted to help with anything needed. 

"I told him that it was very comforting to hear from him," Fields said. "I think our relationship has grown over the past few months and it will continue to grow each and every day." 

The Bears sit at 2-2 and one game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. Several fans have clamored for Fields to start since being drafted 11th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Now, Fields will have his chance to help get the Bears back into the playoffs. 

"This isn't something that happened right away, he has grown to this point," Nagy said. "He's earned it. He's worked hard and I think now he has this opportunity."