Many people have been pining for Justin Fields to start in the NFL since he was still a quarterback at Harrison High School in Georgia, but especially so since the beginning of 2021 draft season. Once thought to be a 1a-1b type with Trevor Lawrence, the pre-draft process was not as kind to Fields as it was to three of his positional classmates, at least as it came to NFL teams.
Though there was a massive outpouring of support for Fields on social media, decrying any anti-Fields sentiment as flawed, more than 10 teams passed on him in the 2021 NFL Draft. Instead of being 1b to 1a, Fields ended up as 1-1: the Chicago Bears traded up from 20 to 11 to select Fields to be the next franchise quarterback ... after Andy Dalton, of course.
The Bears have already named the veteran Dalton was the starter, but fans from Chicago and all around the country have been laughing that off and awaiting Fields’ inevitable opportunity to take the reins. During Saturday’s preseason exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins, similar to a scrimmage against backup players, Fields fans are potentially seeing their dreams come true sooner than previously expected.
Will Justin Fields actually become the first road quarterback to ever start in SoFi Stadium in front of fans?
The Los Angeles Rams host the Bears on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, and NBC would consider it a huge win if they get to promote Fields — instead of the incomparably below-average Dalton — as the person facing Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. As the quarterback throwing down in a showdown against Matthew Stafford. That would be the ideal for the NFL and TV sets around the world.
It would be the ideal for everyone except maybe Andy Dalton. (And potentially the Bears, we’ve never seen Justin Fields play in a real NFL game before.)
In his preseason debut against the Dolphins, Fields is 14-of-20 for 142 yards passing with five carries for 33 yards. He has a touchdown both through the air and on the ground against Miami’s second/third unit players, prior to being replaced by Nick Foles in the second half.
There should be no doubts about whether or not Fields is a dangerous threat on the ground or that he has a strong arm, but if he can handle the rest of being a quarterback — especially against the reigning number one defense, should he start in Week 1 — is entirely what’s been up for debate during this entire year.
The Rams may or may not like to face Fields instead of Dalton. We won’t know that for sure until a lot more time has passed. But what we do know is that most NFL fans would definitely like to see Justin Fields on the field at SoFi stadium in a month.