LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Justin Fields knew it would happen.
The Bears' third-year signal-caller is acutely aware of the media environment surrounding him. He knows that being the Bears' starting quarterback means you get a lot of extra noise. It's a lighting-rod position that creates discussion no matter the time of year.
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"Yeah, of course, but that’s the world we live in nowadays," Fields said Wednesday at Halas Hall when asked if he heard the QB controversy chatter. "Everybody wants … everybody wants to cause a stir, cause media attention, boom, boom, boom, comments, stories. So that’s just what comes with it. I knew that was going to happen from the get-go. So it came to me as no surprise.
"But I mean, like I said, I was coming in the building every day being the same guy I was before I was hurt. Just trying to be the best leader I can be."
Fields missed four games with a dislocated right thumb but will return Sunday when the Bears visit the Lions in Detroit.
Bagent went 2-2 in four starts in Fields' absence and got valuable help from the Bears' injured starting quarterback each week as they prepped for that week's opponent.
"I was trying to just be the same leader I was when I was playing, of course helping Tyson out with anything he asked for," Fields said. "I would write extra notes with scouting reports on DBs and safeties and linebackers and send it to him."
The Bears' coaching staff praised Fields for his invaluable work behind the scenes during the week and on the sidelines during gameday to help Bagent.
"He was awesome. He was awesome," quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko of Fields after the Bears' win over the Raiders in Week 7. "Put the TV copy on, and you can see those two on the bench, and they didn't miss a thing. Justin was coming up to me, 'Hey, take a look at this.' Going up to [offensive coordinator Luke Getsy], 'Hey, we got this.' He was an integral part of that win."
Fields returns with seven games to go in the season. The Bears entered the campaign needing to get a full evaluation of him as their potential franchise quarterback. After missing a month, these final seven games could be a huge factor in determining Fields' future in Chicago.
But that, like the quarterback controversy, is just noise that comes with his post.
“Just go out there and win games," Fields said when asked for his individual goals to finish the season. "I’m not here to prove anything to anybody. I’m playing for my teammates, I’m playing for the coaches, and that’s it. Everything else will take care of itself. So I’m not necessarily trying to prove anything to anybody.”