The Bears came away with a 20-9 win over the Raiders on Sunday, but the bigger story was that quarterback Justin Fields played a majority of the game with a hyperextended left knee.
Fields took a nasty hit from Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in the second quarter, causing his knee to bend and roll up. It was arguably the “welcome to the NFL” moment for Fields, but it didn’t faze him.
“I knew I hyperextended it,” Fields said to reporters after the game. “I was just trying to see if I could get up and I was just able to walk off the field and then after a while I could start feeling my strength getting back, so I was just trying to see how stable it was and seeing if I could run on it.”
Andy Dalton relieved Fields for two plays before head coach Matt Nagy entrusted his rookie signal caller to go back in and win the game. Fields finished 12-of-20 for 111 yards and a touchdown, continuing to ignite the Chicago offense since being named starter in Week 3. So much so, that Nagy changed his tune and declared Fields the starter moving forward, a huge confidence boost for the 11th overall pick.
Nagy told reporters after the game that while Fields played well, he was more impressed with how he battled through injury.
“His toughness was great, it was awesome,” Nagy said. “So that’s all. That’s the No. 1 thing I’m taking out of this, is his toughness.”