Nathan Peterman

What Bears signing Nathan Peterman again means for Tyson Bagent, QB2 battle

Is the battle to backup Justin Fields back on?

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Tyson Bagent defied the odds by entering training camp as an undrafted free agent from D-II Shepherd University and leaving with a job on the 53-man roster. He earned his spot by noticeably improving throughout the summer at practice and putting together an impressive preseason campaign. But don’t pencil in Bagent as the Bears QB2 just yet.

On Thursday, the Bears signed Nathan Peterman back to the 53-man roster– just two days after cutting him– and head coach Matt Eberflus said the team still has not decided who will be the primary backup for Justin Fields.

“We’re sure glad to have him back,” Eberflus said. “He’s really good for that room. Him and Justin learned the offense together, so to speak, so they’re speaking the same language. So they understand it really well.”

Eberflus also noted that the Bears opted to sign Peterman to the 53-man roster rather than the practice squad because they wanted to be sure they had him on the team. The league’s new rule about emergency quarterbacks played a role, too. To boil it down, NFL teams are only allowed to have 48 players from their 53-man rosters active on gamedays. However, this year teams will be able to name an emergency QB from their 53-man roster and not have that QB count towards their 48 active players.

The Bears used Bagent’s performance in camp and in the preseason to determine he was worthy of a roster spot. Now they’re going to evaluate the performances of both Bagent and Peterman over the next week or so to determine who wins the backup QB job for Week 1.

Eberflus conceded the Bears won’t really know what to expect from Bagent on Sundays until he goes out there, but that won’t stop them from playing him. The Bears did it with Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon, Braxton Jones and Jack Sanborn last year. They’re on track to do the same with Tyrique Stevenson and Darnell Wright this year.

“What you can go by is what they practice and how they play and how they perform in practice,” Eberflus said. “That’s all you have. That’s what we always have. You’ve always gotta have your first performance, and when they go out there, they’ll perform and they’ll really rely on what their practice habits are.”

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