Justin Fields got an opportunity to lead the Bears offense during the second half of Saturday’s preseason game, meaning he had to play alongside second- and third-string players. Matt Nagy’s decision almost resulted in disaster.
Fields played composed and with sharpness during his several second-half series. But the rookie had his first “welcome to the NFL” moment early in the fourth quarter.
Buffalo linebacker Andre Smith came off the left edge unblocked the moment a play began. Fields didn’t notice Smith because he was looking to the left side of the field the entire time. Disaster ensued. Smith obliterated Fields. The hit was so punishing Fields lost both his helmet and headband.
It was terrifying. Take a look.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 21, 2021
As you might have noticed, officials threw the penalty flag almost right away. The NFL is doing everything it can to avoid players using the crown of the helmet and head-to-head contact. The refs got this one right.
Regardless, you hate to see any quarterback take a hit like the one Justin Fields’ received. But as noted by former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, these types of sacks should help the rookie recognized his protection issues a bit better.
If Fields had recognized the Bills linebacker coming off the edge, he could’ve checked the ball down to his running back.
Illegal hit. Duh. Glad there was a flag. But I bet Fields will know his empty protection issues better now These are the types of reps (minus the illegal hit) that accelerate the learning process. Don’t get hit in practice https://t.co/rQg7lxV9Xy
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 21, 2021
Luckily, Fields was okay after the hit. He remained in the game and continued running the Bears offense.
You can catch the rest of the Bills-Bears preseason game right now on NFL Network.
The post Watch: Bears QB Justin Fields Loses Helmet During Terrifying Hit appeared first on The Spun.