Regardless of Bears’ flaws, turnovers land on QB Justin Fields’ shoulders


The Bears have surrounded quarterback Justin Fields with an abundance of problems in his first three seasons. There’s no arguing against that. Whether it’s been the coaching, the scheme, the offensive line or the wide receivers, it’s never been quite right.

But he’s still the one with the ball in his hands — not Matt Nagy, Luke Getsy or whoever else has had a hand in the various hindrances he’s faced since the Bears drafted him.

The ongoing turnover trouble is squarely Fields’ responsibility, and questions about his decision-making loom largely as the Bears weigh whether to build their future around him.

Fields threw two interceptions, including a game-sealing pick-six in the final minutes, and fumbled in the Bears’ 27-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. He also lost a fumble and threw an interception on back-to-back plays in the third quarter that were overturned on replay review, but that didn’t make those errors any less concerning in the big picture.

In 29 career games, Fields has now thrown 29 interceptions and had 31 fumbles attributed to him, though that total includes bad snaps that might not have been his fault. His pick-six was the fourth of his career, matching Aaron Rodgers’ total in 19 seasons.

He’s getting the reputation of being a turnover machine, and that’ll give the Bears some hesitation. General manager Ryan Poles is debating whether to invest a massive chunk of salary-cap space in Fields and bet his own job on it. Fields is eligible for a contract extension after the season, and even the more conservative avenue of picking up his fifth-year option for 2025 is projected to cost $23.3 million.

There’s no way Poles will do any of that if Fields looks like a turnover machine.


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