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Hoge's Bears Things: Justin Fields will play on Saturday (and Tyson Bagent may back up)

Adam Hoge Avatar
August 25, 2023

Happy Friday!

Special shoutout to all the high school football programs that begin their seasons tonight. Friday Night Lights are officially back!

Also back? Justin Fields. After a one-week preseason hiatus, Fields will play in Saturday’s game against the Bills. How much, exactly, is unclear. Matt Eberflus said a meeting was scheduled for Thursday afternoon to determine the exact playing time of his starters. 

But this jives with what Eberflus hinted at last week when he decided to sit Fields and the starters against the Colts. That was mainly due to the joint practices in Indianapolis. This week, they’ve been simulating an actual regular season game week (game planning, using scout teams, etc.) so it would make sense that they end the week by playing in the actual game. 

Last year, Fields played the entire first half in the final preseason game, although I get the sense the Bears might limit him a little more this time. Eberflus seems somewhat concerned about how much to expose Fields behind this banged up offensive line. He admitted that health will play a big factor in Saturday’s playing time. 

As for who QB2 will be against the Bills…

“I’m not going to answer that,” Eberflus said. “That’s still a competition though, as we’ve said all along, and we’re open to that. That’s exciting. And that was created. It wasn’t like we created it — when I say we, the coaching staff. That was created by pure competition.”

Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyson Bagent take the field after Justin Fields on Saturday.

“If you keep an open mind and you let things play out, then good things will happen,” Eberflus said.

Well, if the coaches are letting this thing play out, then that would mean they are rewarding what they’ve seen so far — and so far, Bagent has out-played PJ Walker. 

It’s common for the final preseason game to determine very tight position battles in training camp. And that appears to be what’s happening with the Bears’ backup quarterback competition.

Up Next: The Bears will have a walk-through Friday before playing the Bills at Noon CT on Saturday. Make sure you tune into Friday’s edition of The CHGO Bears Podcast for the full preview of the game. Saturday, our CHGO Bears Pregame Show starts at 11 a.m. CT with the postgame show to follow immediately after the game.  

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