Probably the only Chicago Bears bright spot in their Week 3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — and maybe the team’s entire week — was wide receiver DJ Moore stepping in and guiding his quarterback, Justin Fields, to the sideline after he looked woozy following a big hit. Somehow, the Bears medical staff cleared Fields to return to the game, and down 38 in the fourth quarter, head coach Matt Eberflus stunningly put him back in. After the game, Eberflus didn’t like reporters' questions on the subject.
“He was cleared, right? He came out,” Eberflus said. “We were going for it on fourth down there, but he came out so I decided to kick the field goal, right? And then he was cleared, and he was ready to go.”
Putting Justin Fields back in the game made little sense on any level.
Fields wasn’t good throughout the game, ending the 41-10 blowout 11-of-22 for 99 passing yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and a 58.7 passer rating. He also ran 11 times for 47 yards.
From a longer-term perspective, it made no sense to put Fields back in the game IF Eberflus thinks the signal-caller is the team’s franchise quarterback. The game was long over, and putting him back in to risk injury makes no sense for a QB that the coach and organization believes in long-term.
Sending Fields back to the wolves may give a hint that at least Eberflus, and maybe the Bears as a whole, are losing faith in the QB.
Finally, putting a player back in who just had to have a teammate help him off the field because he was stumbling is irresponsible on a personal level. If we learned anything from the Tua Tagovailoa concussion saga last season, it’s that we should trust our eyes as much as sideline concussion tests and err on the side of caution when players are visibly woozy.
Matt Eberflus reinserting Justin Fields into the Bears Week 3 loss to the Chiefs was irresponsible on a human level more than anything, and that’s where he should get the most flack, whether he likes it or not.