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NFL GM believes Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields should sit out rest of 2022 season

Justin Fields

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields has proven to be one of the NFL’s emerging stars this season and a player the franchise can build around for years to come. With the Bears now finding themselves in a position to potentially land the No. 1 pick, at least one NFL general manager believes Fields should skip the rest of the season.

Bears’ general manager Ryan Poles received strong criticism around the league and from NFL analysts for not surrounding Fields with better talent in the offseason.

Chicago’s highest pick on offense in the 2022 NFL Draft – wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. (71st overall) – was viewed by most as nothing more than a returner. Meanwhile, the Bears did little to address weaknesses on the offensive line or at wide receiver.

  • Justin Fields stats (2022): 2,167 pass yards, 1,011 rushing yards, 24 total TDs

Despite having one of the worst supporting casts in the NFL, Fields has emerged as a franchise-caliber quarterback this season. He is ascending NFL quarterback rankings and is now recognized as a player Chicago can build its offense around.

With the Bears moving up the 2023 NFL Draft order thanks to an eight-game losing streak, Chicago’s quarterback is taking unnecessary hits that could put his future at risk. As a result, there are now some around the league who believes the second-year quarterback should take himself out of the lineup.

An NFL general manager told Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post that he would advise Fields to sit out the rest of the season. He also criticized the Bears’ coaching staff for still relying on Fields’ rushing ability so heavily in meaningless games.

“Shut it down and tell them you’ll be back next year when they get you an offensive line. They’re playing with fire running him like this in games they aren’t going to win.”

NFL general manager’s advice to Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields

Related: Chicago Bears schedule

Would the Bears shut down Justin Fields?

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Considering Fields has played through injury, it seems highly unlikely he would voluntarily choose to sit out games. While he already reached the achievement of becoming the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, he likely views the final games as an opportunity to further improve as a passer.

  • Justin Fields passing stats: 62.3% completion rate, 88.3 QB rating, 7.3 ypa

Facing a Detroit Lions defense in Week 17 that just allowed over 300 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers, Fields could deliver another strong performance before Week 18. If Chicago loses, the organization could consider shutting its franchise quarterback down for the final game as it tries to beat out the Houston Texans for the No. 1 overall pick, which it could then trade to a team who wants Bryce Young.

Fortunately for Chicago, this could be the final season where its final games are viewed as non-competitive. The Bears will enter 2023 with more than $100 million in cap space, providing them with the resources to rebuild the defense and upgrade the offensive line.