Fresh on the heels of this morning’s news that Chicago Bears second round draft pick Teven Jenkins would undergo back surgery, it was revealed that their first round pick, quarterback Justin Fields, would sit out practice with a sore groin.
Head coach Matt Nagy said they were being cautious with Fields’ soreness and him sitting out today is them being “extremely conservative,” and he still plans to get his rookie QB some time on Saturday in their preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. The groin injury could have been why Fields was off at Tuesday’s practice.
“He was a little sore, and Justin is the last one that’s gonna tell you that’s an excuse,” Nagy said at today’s pre-practice press conference. “He’s not going to use that excuse. He was pissed off with some of the throws and just the way in general yesterday we were all a little bit, I didn’t think offensively we had a very good day.”
Nagy won’t get any arguments form me. Yesterday was my first time making it to Halas Hall this year for training camp, and the offense was struggling the entire day. (Check out my recap from yesterday here!)
“We want to be smart,” Nagy said, “and it doesn’t make sense right now to push the limits with him and take a chance of making it more sore.”
Even though Fields didn’t practice, he still had one good throw on the day.
Justin Fields drops it into the bucket pic.twitter.com/bXCPAhnWAm— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) August 18, 2021
Regardless on Fields’ availability for Saturday, expect to see the starters, which includes quarterback Andy Dalton, to play more than they did last week, and the QB1 is ready.
“Justin’s gonna have his time, and Justin’s gonna have a great career, Dalton said when asked his eleventy-millionth question about his backup. “But right now, it’s my time and so my focus is being on the best player I can be for this team and do everything I can to help this team win.”
Dalton has handled this entire quarterback situation brilliantly, and it’s well documented the mentorship and friendship he has with Fields.
“Do I want the fans behind me and this team and all that kind of stuff? Yes,” Dalton said. “Do I want them behind Justin? Absolutely, I do.”
Dalton also technically won the throw-it-in-the-bucket game.
Bears QBs end practice with a fun game throwing balls into buckets at the back corners of the endzone, from 10 yds out. Here's how I scored it:— Alex Shapiro (@AlexShapiroNBCS) August 18, 2021
Dalton: 3 (1 with a bit of bucket tipping assistance from staff), Fields: 1, Foles: 1
Bucket lips hit-- Dalton: 5, Fields: 3, Foles: 3
Other new injured Bears were tight end Cole Kmet (groin), nose tackle Eddie Goldman (back), and offensive tackle Badara Traore (knee).
But the Bears did get some of their injured back for today including starting right guard James Daniels, tight end J.P. Holtz, starting linebackers Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, inside backer Josh Woods, and cornerback Tre Roberson.
Also returning for the Bears was defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who left practice early yesterday, and while speculation was rampant on Tuesday as to why he missed the Bears provided no update.
Now on to a few Tweets from camp...
Artie Burns has had a solid day with a few pass breakups. He got knocked down a pass intended for Darnell Mooney from Andy Dalton in 7 on 7. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) August 18, 2021
Even with Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet sitting out of practice today, the #Bears are featuring tight ends heavily in red zone drills.— Alex Shapiro (@AlexShapiroNBCS) August 18, 2021
Jordan Lucas picks off Nick Foles on a pass that was off the hands of Rodney Adams. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) August 18, 2021
Meanwhile at Bears practice, Jesper Horsted has caught three touchdown passes in the last 5 minutes. Two from Dalton, one from Foles.— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) August 18, 2021
Nick Foles just connected with Marquise Goodwin for a TD in back of end zone. Ball was on the money and Goodwin went up and grabbed it over Xavier Crawford. #Bears— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) August 18, 2021