May 21, 2022


First NFL touchdown was special moment for rookie QB Justin Fields

Fields played five snaps in Sunday’s season opener

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Justin Fields is keeping the football from his first career NFL touchdown.

There were a lot of lows for the Bears in Sunday’s 34-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but fans had their first chance to see Fields in a meaningful game. He didn’t disappoint either.

The rookie quarterback played a handful of snaps, highlighted by a 3-yard touchdown run. It was a small sample size, but it’s a little glimpse into the future.

“I’m not going to lie I was [taking it in] during the game,” Fields said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, this is crazy.’ Then at halftime I was like, ‘Yeah, this is still crazy.’ It was definitely awesome getting out there and being on the field.

“Earlier today I was thinking how I never thought I would be in this position. So just me being in here was amazing and I’m just grateful for it.”

Bears coach Matt Nagy said the coaching staff didn’t have a specific goal for how many snaps Fields would play Sunday. He also noted that the second-half deficit necessitated a change in strategy, which probably took some snaps away from Fields.

The rookie stayed engaged on the sideline when he wasn’t on the field, tossing a ball around with third-string quarterback Nick Foles, and donning his helmet when Dalton was on the field. He repeated play calls to himself as they came in on the headset, preparing for his moments.

It was just a few plays, but it was an important start for Fields.

“You get a feel about the atmosphere,” Fields said. “See how fast those guys are coming.”

Fields made his first appearance on the game’s opening drive. The Bears ran a run-pass option and Fields threw a 9-yard pass to receiver Marquise Goodwin. He later threw a shovel pass for a short gain, finishing his day 2-or-2 passing for 10 yards.

“He was involved on the sideline,” Nagy said. “Then when we got down into the red zone at times, we had a couple things in for him that worked and some that didn’t work. When he got down in the red zone, he did some great things there. W’ve just got to keep having him grow and stay positive”

Starter Andy Dalton said that giving Fields some snaps didn’t affect him at all in terms of staying in the flow of the game.

“Obviously it helped us,” Dalton said. “He was able to score touchdowns. Yeah, we’re trying to find ways to put the ball in the end zone. It’s just kind of part of how we’re going to play.”

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.