We’ve been inching toward Justin Fields’ return to QB1 status for the Chicago Bears. And according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, there is an expectation that Fields’ return will happen this upcoming Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
More from Rap Sheet and NFL Media, who has the morning scoop:
Justin Fields is on the cusp of returning
It has been a while since we’ve seen Justin Fields on the Soldier Field turf. So this feels like a good time to remind folks what we were missing.
In his first five games of the year, Fields completed 61.8 percent of his passes, threw for 1,143 yards, tossed 11 touchdowns (against just 5 interceptions), and posted a 95.4 passer rating. He was on pace for a 3,886-yard, 37-touchdown season as a passer — which would’ve set two Bears franchise records in the process. But more than that, Fields was trending in the right direction with 8 touchdowns in the two games before the clunker against the Vikings in which he went 6-for-10, threw for 58 yards, chucked an interception, put up a 36.7 passer rating, and suffered the dislocated thumb injury that put I’m on the shelf one month ago today.
The potential storylines moving forward are so juicy. Kudos to the NFL scriptwriters for being in their bag for this one. They have truly captured the spirit of the thing with their up-and-down Justin Fields story (even if it has come with major heartburn for Bears fans).
At the risk of putting the cart in front of the horse, I find myself excited about Fields’ pending return — and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. For me, the excitement is triple-layered. I’m looking forward to seeing how Fields plays after suffering an injury that kept I’m out for four games, intrigued by how he tries to recapture the magic of Weeks 4-5, and I’m curious to see how he responds after this bit of adversity. It is one thing to come back from an injury. But coming back from an injury while facing the adversity that comes when a vocal public is seeking your replacement.
Fields’ return means our journey toward fairly and properly evaluating his future with the franchise returns in earnest. We’ll need to see Fields iron out some kinks in his game, smooth out some inconsistencies, and play well enough to reignite the conversation regarding him as this team’s franchise quarterback in the years to come. It won’t happen in one game, mind you. But coming back with a strong showing against the division-leading Lions would make for a nice building block.