The Cons Outweigh the Pros if Justin Fields Starts Week 18 for Bears

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) reacts in the
Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) reacts in the / Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears head into Week 18 with an awful 6-10 overall record. Needless to say, they have been eliminated from playoff contention and have nothing to play for. Even still, they do have a game to play this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The 7-9 Vikings were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Green Bay last week. So, with both teams playing for pride, what makes this game so interesting? 

The interest on my end stems from the fact that Matt Nagy stated that quarterback Justin Fields would be starting in the season finale. This, as long as Fields is healthy enough to start in the first place. This is where the debate comes into play. Why are Nagy and the Bears committed to starting Fields in the first place? What do they possibly hope to achieve other than possibly aggravating an already lingering injury? 

It isn’t as if they haven’t seen enough of Fields or he hasn’t gotten enough snaps in the regular season. Sure, he has missed the last few weeks, but the Bears are not without a good idea of his capabilities at this point. The rookie future of the franchise has shown exactly the player he is right now. And, no matter what happens in the Vikings game, nothing is going to change. Fields have proven in his first season of work to be a highly capable runner while struggling to function as a traditional quarterback. 

I found it interesting that Nagy added the decision will come down to health. Health is clearly not the Bears’ major concern here. If it was, they would not risk the future of their franchise in a game that means literally nothing. I get that if he is healthy, Fields will likely want to play. But the Bears have to be smarter than that and protect their investment. 

Should Fields not start against the Vikings, Andy Dalton would be the likely starter. Dalton had an awful game against the Giants, going 18-for-35 for 173 yards, a TD, and an INT. I say let Nick Foles loose after going 24-for-35 with 250 yards and a touchdown when the Bears beat the Seahawks in Week 16. If the Bears are serious about trying to win this game, he looks like their best bet. As of now, no starter has been announced and the Bears are 2.5 point underdogs on the road.