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WATCH: Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields gets blasted in preseason vs. Bills

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The Chicago Bears might want to fast-track Justin Fields‘ path to the starting quarterback job, because if he has to play behind many more fringe roster offensive linemen, he might get seriously hurt.

Veteran NFL reporter Dov Kleiman captured the brutal hit Fields suffered in Saturday’s Week 2 preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, which was inflicted by linebacker Andre Smith:

Smith is completely in the wrong here for launching himself into Fields, hitting the QB helmet-to-helmet and even dislodging the former Ohio State star’s hat in the process. This brutal, irresponsible targeting is grounds for a fine from the league office.

What’s incredible is, Fields got up off the turf in short order, seemed fine, and remained in the game. On the next play, he handed the ball to draft classmate Khalil Herbert, who took the ball to the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown run at Soldier Field.

That’s the kind of toughness Fields brings to the position. Forget his dual-threat skill set with the incredible arm talent and electrifying, game-breaking speed. Fields is seriously tough, and this was the latest instance of that characteristic.

After Andy Dalton was solid, but not spectacular, in a first half wherein the Bears trailed 34-6 at the break, it’s pretty clear that head coach Matt Nagy just needs to make the move to Fields right away. We’ll see if he actually does it.

See what our projected record is for the Bears in our full breakdown of their 2021 schedule