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Tale of Two QBs in Chicago and New York

Bears postgame situation with Justin Fields far better than what the Jets had last week with Zach Wilson.

The Justin Fields watch continues on a Tuesday off for players, with more positive news bubbling up.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on the Rich Eisen Show that the Bears are "optimistic" about Fields starting Sunday in New Jersey against the Jets, this after he had reported Monday that Fields has a dislocated shoulder—a report disputed by Pro Football Talk and ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The shoulder injury was not described by the Bears, but coach Matt Eberflus had made the situation seem very fluid at Monday's press conference.

"We'll see where it goes," Eberflus said. "Day to day. We'll see. Gotta evaluate on Wednesday. And then we'll see where it is from there."

The Bears have revised their regular Wednesday schedule for this week but have Fields slated to talk to the media as normal, although it will occur after practice instead of beforehand.

Also on Tuesday, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer tweeted that Fields had apologized to teammates following the loss to Atlanta in the postgame locker room, "Told them the defense gave the offense a chance, and the offense didn't get it done," Breer wrote on Twitter.

In a heart-warming twist, Fields' defensive teammates were said to have stopped him from finishing the apology and they told him "...they had his back," Breer said. "Really cool moment for everyone there, and a nice sign of where Matt Eberflus has taken the culture in Chicago."

A quarterback who has been injured by a hit, telling teammates he was sorry they didn't get it done was in stark contrast to the situation with the upcoming Bears opponents.

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh hasn't committed to Zach Wilson as starter for Sunday after the second-year QB was asked at a postgame press conference if he felt the offense let down the defense.

"No," Wilson said, twice.

The Bears situation is far more complicated than letting down the defense once, though. 

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It was the fifth straight time the offense failed on a two-minute situation. 

However, the defense could hardly be described as innocent victims. They allowed a short Falcons drive, mostly on the ground, to the game-winning 53-yard field goal just before Fields and the offense failed on their last chance, a drive that ended with Fields overthrowing David Montgomery on an interception.



If quarterback Trevor Siemian gets the call as Bears starter, it won't be a situation unfamiliar to Bears fans even if it's Siemian's first start for Chicago.

They just went through a season when a backup started seven of the 17 games, whether it was Andy Dalton, Nick Foles or Fields when he was still the backup to Dalton.

Last year teams starting backups lost two out of every three games in the NFL. The Bears were 4-3 in their seven starts by backups, although not especially because of spectacular quarterback play. Their defense held opponents to 24 points or less in all seven of those games and 22 or less in six of them.

The backup had a passer rating of 72.8, was 142 of 235 for 1,571 yards with six TDs and nine interceptions (6.7 yards/attempt).

If the Jets don't start Wilson, it's possible it might not be backup Joe Flacco but Mike White who gets a start. White started three games last year and won one. He had a passer rating of 75.1.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven