LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields ranks last in the NFL in completions (34), attempts (67), passer rating (58.7) and interception percentage (6). As a team, Chicago is 32nd in total passing and passing yards per game and is at the bottom of other statistical passing categories, including the fewest first downs earned by passing (17) and tied for the lowest number of touchdown passes (2).
The first four games of Fields’ second season with the Bears have been challenging by any stretch. But that’s not how offensive coordinator Luke Getsy described it on Thursday.
“I don’t think he’s had a rough month,” Getsy said. “I think he’s gotten better each week. I think he’s growing tremendously. And you know, it’s not easy. We’re playing good football teams, and it’s not easy to become the level of quarterback that he wants to become, and I know that he can become.
“The important thing is that we stay focused, keep our eyes on that progress or on that process and we make sure we get better each and every week and I believe that we’re in that phase.”
Fields is completing a league-low 50.7% of his passes and has been critical of his own performances in previous games, notably calling his outing against the Houston Texans in Week 3 “trash.” The quarterback said he felt the passing game operated better in a 20-12 loss to the New York Giants in Week 4 but noted plays he wished he could have done over.
Getsy concurred, pointing to the Bears’ lack of red zone success (0-3) against the Giants as a spot where Fields missed open receivers.
“We gotta take the completions when they’re there,” Getsy said. ‘I think he passed up a couple you know cheap completions that gets you into that second-and-3, second-and-4, which makes the gold zone a lot more easier to go score. We gotta improve on that. We gotta go get those little cheap completions and then we just gotta execute in the run game better too. We had a couple of opportunities there.”
Getsy has praised Fields for operating within the Bears “process” and how the young quarterback is executing what he’s asked to. That’s where the offensive coordinator says his focus is through four games, not a longer-term evaluation of whether Fields is the answer for the Bears at quarterback.
“We have a lot more than just evaluating Justin Fields going on right now,” Getsy said. “…That’s what everybody wants to evaluate — the quarterback all the time — and I get it. It’s all good. This is a process for all 11. There’s so many factors going into what’s going on around Justin and to just sit here and say, ‘Oh, we’re only focused on is this guy going to be the guy or not?’ that’s literally not even on my mind or I don’t think that’s on anybody’s mind in this building.
“We’re just in the process of getting better. How can we get each guy in this building to get better every and every week? As long as we continue to get better, then we’re going in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, running back David Montgomery returned to practice in limited capacity Thursday after being held out with an ankle injury he sustained in Week 3.
Montgomery said his availability for Sunday’ game at the Minnesota Vikings will be a “game-time decision.” He said he isn’t concerned about sustaining an injury during a contract year.
“I just want to get healthy and go out and play with the guys, honestly,” Montgomery said. “I’m not really into the whole contract talk thing because I’m a firm believer in whatever works out, works out. That’s how I see things.”