Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields got dealt a harsh lesson in the realities of NFL football on Sunday.
Fields was thrust into the starting job after Andy Dalton suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and to say Fields had a hard time of it would be an understatement.
Against a vaunted Cleveland Browns defense led by the former No.1 pick in the 2017 draft in Myles Garrett, Fields had his “welcome to the NFL moment” and it was more than once.
Tough day for Fields
In a 26-6 loss, Fields completed only six of his 20 passes for just 68 yards and was sacked nine times. One player in particular gave Fields a lesson and it was Garrett who accounted for four and a half sacks of his own to go with his four tackles for loss.
At times it was hard to watch such a talented young player essentially get thrown to the wolves but that is the world of professional football.
After becoming a star in college on Sunday, Justin Fields got a taste of what the NFL can really be like against a team with a top-quality defensive front.
The likes of Garrett (four and a half sacks), Jadeveon Clowney (two sacks), Ronnie Harrison (one sack), along with Malik Jackson and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who both had 0.5 sacks, tormented the young quarterback.
It was a harsh introduction to the pros for Fields but one that he will be better for having.
Of course, the Bears offensive line shouldn’t escape criticism either as they allowed the future of their franchise to be sacked nine times during the game.
Protecting Fields has to be the number one priority for Matt Nagy and the Bears. There have been players such as Andrew Luck who have retired early due to unnecessary hits similar to what Justin Fields experienced today.
Bears fans were screaming for Fields to start in Week 2 and now, having seen him in action on Sunday, there may be some who prefer to have him sit and wait a year behind Andy Dalton.
Hopefully Fields and the Bears’ offensive line can use this as a learning experience and get better together as the season progresses.
Up next for Fields and the Bears are Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions. Here’s to hoping the Bears offensive line can protect their franchise quarterback.
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