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Justin Fields Takes a Licking, Keeps on Ticking

The Las Vegas Raiders delivered a physical beating to Bears quarterback Justin Fields but his reputation for toughness ruled the day in a 20-9 victory.

Anyone thinking Justin Fields would suddenly start throwing for 300 yards Sunday and bomb away at opponents simply because he had been named the team's No. 1 quarterback probably came away disappointed.

That would be the fantasy football crowd.

Fields threw for only 111 yards, completed 12 of 20 and his running was completely silenced, but he may have made more strides toward becoming a true Chicago Bears quarterback because he showed everyone the famed toughness he had at Ohio State plays well in the pros.

Toughness has always been a Bears quarterback's trademark over the years, even if most of them couldn't throw a pass, and Fields showed his ability to take a hit in a 20-9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.

"Again, his toughness was great, it was awesome," Bears coach Matt Nagy said. "So that's all. That's the No. 1 thing I'm taking out of this is his toughness."

The Raiders knocked the wind out of him with a shot to the rib area. He suffered a hyperextended knee when he ran right into a waiting tackler and also absorbed more hits after the throw and a roughing-the-passer penalty.

None of it prevented Fields from getting up and playing, although he did leave long enough on the second Bears touchdown drive for Andy Dalton to come on and convert a key third down with an 8-yard completion to Marquise Goodwin.

"Especially after that (knee) injury, I seen it up close, it looked scary, it looked bad," running back Damien Williams said. "But to see him get over that一because it's a mental thing, you know what I'm saying一to see him go out there and still run, hold it and try to make plays, that's a kid playing football."

In fact, Fields had no problem taking part in Club Dub after the game.

"I'm dancing. I'm dancing in there," Fields said. "Y'all might see a video later in the year. Who knows? We'll see."

Fields was spotted at times stretching on the sidelines and riding a stationary bike. It was due to a different injury situation.

"My calf just started tightening up on me," he said. "That's what I was doing on that. I was on the sideline staying on the bike, making sure I was moving my legs to keep it warm so it didn't stiff up on me."

For now, Fields delivering passes when it counts will need to take the place of throwing them all over the field all the time, as he learns the league and defenses.

He threw one like this when he rolled right and threw to Jesper Horsted for a 2-yard TD in the back of the end zone on second-and-goal, after the Bears seemed stymied at the line of scrimmage with their run game at the goal line.

"When you're in that moment, you can't think about what’s hurting," Fields said. "You just think about executing that play. Of course, Jesper was kind of open in the back of the end zone with the DB had his back turned.

"So of course, I knew he couldn’t see the ball. So I just threw it up and gave Jesper a chance. Of course he came down with it."

The other big pass was the third-and-12 conversion to Darnell Mooney, although he had a few key completions to Cole Kmet and Allen Robinson as well. The one Mooney was huge because the linebackers and secondary for the Raiders had dropped to the first-down marker and there were eight of them. They went with just three rushers. They dared Fields to throw it in there and Mooney found a spot in the zone where he could snare a low rocket throw.

The other reason it was big was the Raiders suddenly were back in the game after their touchdown drive.

"I mean that's just a timing throw," Fields said. "So we practice that play throughout the week. I saw they were back and were kind of playing the sticks on that.

"So with that look, just trying to get the first down, something to keep the drive going. It was a great catch by Mooney and it was a great call."

Fields promised to keep on coming back no matter how physical it gets. He cemented his reputation in college for this against Clemson at Ohio State.

"I think when I was younger my dad always told me if I could get up and walk off the field, do it, so that's kinda why I don't like staying down long and just trying to get up off the field," he said.

It doesn't surprise him this translates to the NFL.

"I'm always going to bring that to the table," he said. "I'm going to put myself out there to win games, so that's what they can expect from me, just every play, every game, I'm gonna give it my all."

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