Justin Fields made wrong read on busted 2-pt try


The Bears did well to fight back from a 28-7 deficit to give themselves an opportunity to pull within three points of the Cowboys with a touchdown partway through the third quarter. They showed resilience to keep soldiering on when other teams may have packed it in at halftime. But both the Bears’ comeback trail and Justin Fields were squashed on the team’s two-point try following that third-quarter score.

At first, the play looked like a protection breakdown as Demarcus Lawrence, one of the Cowboys’ top pass rushers, was completely unblocked on the big sack. After the game, however, Matt Eberflus revealed it was Fields who made the mistake.

The play was a run-pass option, and Fields should have handed the ball off instead of keeping the ball.

“He read it the other way,” Eberflus said. “Then, just gotta throw it at that point.”

Fields agreed, and reiterated that once he made the mistake he needed to make sure he got the ball out of his hands. He also explained that he made the mistake in the first place, because of how the Cowboys disguised their pressure. It’s a moment for Fields to file away in his rolodex of NFL experience so that he’s better prepared in the future. It’s also a moment the Bears want to see less of in the future.

“Whenever your quarterback takes a hit like thatー you know DLaw is a powerful guy, you know I was with him hereー and certainly you want to make sure your guy’s not in harm’s way, but we’ve just got to make a good decision there,” Eberflus said.

Fields has taken many big hits not only this season, but over his Bears career. He’s an incredibly tough quarterback who has managed to get up time and time again after getting flattened. However, the accumulation of hits has to be concerning. Fields admitted he wasn’t running at 100% this week, as he was still recovering from hits from last week. He spent some time in the blue medical tent after reaggravating a hip contusion from the Patriots game. Last season, Fields suffered several injuries after taking dozens of hits and missed five games.

The Bears have started using Fields as a runner more often, so he’ll be in danger of taking even more hits, but his coaches have praised his situational awareness to slide or get out of bounds when needed to protect himself.

“The only hit that I was mad that I took today was the first run,” Fields said. “I think I should’ve just ran out of bounds.”

No matter what the Bears do, Fields knows the protection won’t be perfect. Part of what makes him an electric playmaker is his ability to extend plays, so the Bears don’t want to coach that out of his game, either.

“Football is football, you’re going to get hit,” Fields said. “Just try to limit them.”

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