Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles looks on before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears GM Ryan Poles: ‘No one is panicking’

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles presented a poised and unified picture of the franchise on Thursday less than 24 hours after a bizarre news cycle blended with rumors hinted at a complete unraveling of the 0-2 team.

“To hit it straight on, we have adversity right now,” Poles said of the state of the Bears, who visit the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

“To make it really, really clear, I know the outside noise — but no one in our building is panicking, no one is flinching at any situations. Not our owner, not our president, not our head coach, not myself. None of our players. Everyone’s focused on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a be a better team.”

Poles clarified those issues don’t involve any FBI search or operative stings, as was reported Wednesday before defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned citing “health and family” concerns.

“I don’t have many details to add there. Halas Hall being raided is completely false. Don’t know where that came from. We’ve worked with Kevin (Warren, team president) and George (McCaskey) and all our leadership to make sure we were handling it the right way, and everything concluded yesterday.”

Head coach Matt Eberflus, formerly defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, will call defensive plays.

“Got a ton of faith in Flus. He’s a leader. He’s done a great job. And then as a defensive play-caller as well, got a ton of faith there,” Poles said.

There are obvious and undeniable concerns from Warren, Poles and Eberflus around the staggered start from quarterback Justin Fields and Chicago’s offense. The Bears have four turnovers and four touchdowns in two games, losses to the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which they were outscored 65-37.

Fields, asked Wednesday to explain his statement that he was thinking too much and needed to play free, said “it could be coaching.” He apologized to coaches when some media reports claimed he said only “coaching,” without what Fields felt was proper context. Fields then held a brief post-practice session with media at Halas Hall to further explain he wants the blame for “everything.”

Poles said at present, Fields is learning how to rely on the new level of talent around him — No. 1 wide receiver DJ Moore, for example — and letting go of his habit of making every play himself.

“Now he gets talent around him and has to figure and balance when to do those cool things athletically, when to lean on others,” Poles said. “And that is sometimes a gray place to live in, and that takes time.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Cam Gill (49) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) to force a fumble during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Justin Fields on overthinking: ‘Could be coaching’

On nine of his 10 sacks this season, the Bears provided quarterback Justin Fields with at least four seconds to get rid of the ball or run.

Instead, Fields is taking a beating. Chicago is 0-2 with a 12-game losing streak and a trip to play the Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City on the docket this Sunday.

Fields pointed to offseason emphasis on becoming a pocket passer as a reason he’s not looking to run. The team’s leading rusher in 2022 with 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns, Fields ran four times for 3 yards and a score at Tampa Bay in the Bears’ 27-17 loss to the Buccaneers in Week 2.

He also described his play as “robotic” and voiced disappointment with his own performance.

“I wasn’t necessarily playing my game. I felt like I was robotic, not playing like myself,” Fields said. “My goal this week is to play football how I know to play football. That includes thinking less and going out there and playing off instincts.”

What is causing Fields to overthink?

“You know, could be coaching I think,” Fields said on Wednesday.

“At the end of the day, they are doing their job when they are giving me what to look at, but at the end of the day, I can be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week and then when the game comes, it’s time to play free at that point. Thinking less and playing more.”

Bears coach Matt Eberflus last won a game on Oct. 24, 2022 at New England. With a 3-16 record in two seasons, Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy are cramming to get more out of Fields and the rest of the team while they still have time. Eberflus insisted Wednesday he needs Fields to be honest and play free.

“Having him be in the flow, having him be free is what we want,” Eberflus said. “I want him to speak free to us. I want him to be honest.”

The Bears go to the noise box that is Arrowhead Stadium this week without starting left tackle Braxton Jones. He was placed on injured reserve with a neck injury on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Aug 13, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus, left, and general manager Ryan Poles walk off the field after the Bears defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 19-14 at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bears GM: Bidding for No. 1 pick begins at two first-rounders

No general manager cheered top quarterback performances at the NFL Scouting Combine more than Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears.

Chicago owns the No. 1 pick in the draft for the first time since 1947 but Poles, in his second season with the franchise, has no intention of drafting any of the quarterbacks who are in high demand atop the 2023 draft in April.

Any team can have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Poles made the asking price crystal clear over the past week.

“I’m blessed to be able to read people,” Poles said in an interview with NBC Sports. “I can feel it. There’s urgency out there. There’s pressure.”

Reports indicate at least three teams have offers on the table to the Bears: the Houston Texans, who pick second and 12th overall in 2023; the Indianapolis Colts, who pick at No. 4 and No. 35; and the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle has a bonus first-round pick, No. 5, as a result of the Russell Wilson trade last year, as well as the No. 20 pick.

Poles, 37, doesn’t need to act with any urgency. Picks in the next three drafts can be used in trades only after the 2023 league year begins March 15. If Poles waits until draft day, 2026 draft picks can also be included.

The Bears are comfortable at quarterback with developing 2021 first-rounder Justin Fields. And with $100 million in salary cap space, the Bears are in position to assure the rebuild under way has some staying power. Moving lower than the No. 2 pick in a trade with the Texans would bring the risk for Poles that his preferred player is picked by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3. Like Chicago, the Cardinals aren’t in this QB market.

“No one’s gonna rush me,” Poles said. “I know I can get a ‘24 one and a ‘25 one. You’re telling me for the next two years I’ll have two ones? That’s either four really good players, or if we’re cruising, we can still trade back.”

Poles is operating without a second-round pick in 2023. The Bears traded theirs, which turned out to be No. 32 overall, to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the October deadline for wide receiver Chase Claypool. When Miami forfeited its first-round pick due to tampering, the first pick of the second round became No. 32.

That intel might be good news for the Colts, who could offer No. 4 and No. 35 for No. 1.

The Texans have trump cards at nearly every turn with capital returned from the Cleveland Browns and the Deshaun Watson trade last year. In addition to the second pick and No. 12 from Cleveland, Houston has an extra third-round pick from the Browns and five of the top 73 selections in this draft.

Should Seattle veer to make a move out of general manager John Schneider’s typical lane of moving back and collecting value, this could be the year. Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll chirped of the rare opportunity and decided interest in quarterbacks in this class, which might also be calculated public discourse to entice a trade offer from another QB-needy team.

But Seattle picks fifth, 20th and 37th, with five total picks in the top 83.

The Raiders (seventh) and Panthers (ninth) are also known to be in the QB market.

“The interesting part is having a conversation with one team, and then one hour later another team texts you wanting in on the trade and they’re not afraid of what the floor of what you’re asking for is,” Poles said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields ‘would love honesty’ in Bears’ draft plans

In an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Super Bowl radio row Friday, Chicago quarterback Justin Fields addressed the possibility that the Bears might use the No. 1 overall draft pick on another quarterback and said he’d like the team to be transparent with him throughout the spring.

Fields was selected in the first round (11th overall) of the 2021 draft, with 2022 being his first full season as the Bears’ starter. He finished the year with 2,242 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 11 interceptions plus 1,143 yards on the ground with eight rushing scores.

The Bears went 3-14, losing their final 10 games (Fields missed two due to injury) and passing the Houston Texans on the final day of the regular season for the worst record and top overall pick.

Fields said he had not spoken with the Bears about their plans, only having a standard exit meeting at the end of the season. Eisen asked Fields if he would want the Bears to keep him in the know if they “do their due diligence” of working out top prospects like Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

“Oh, yeah, for sure. I think everybody would love honesty in the process,” Fields said, “so I would definitely like to know that. And, you know, it’s a business. So totally understand, no hard feelings. But like I said, I control what I can control. Control my work ethic, control how I carry myself each and every day.”

Fields was then asked if he felt he already has “proven (his) worth” as the Bears’ franchise quarterback.

“I think I’ve shown a little bit, but I don’t think I’ve shown the world what I can do in terms of playing the full quarterback position and playing it consistently,” Fields said, pointing to his final game against Detroit, when he completed just 7 of 21 passes for 75 yards.

Chicago general manager Ryan Poles could go a number of directions with the No. 1 pick — replace Fields with an even younger high-quality prospect, select a defensive player to help a unit that ranked last in points allowed last year or trade out with a quarterback-needy team.

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) is short of a touchdown as he is tackled by Green Bay Packers linebacker Quay Walker (7) in the fourth quarter during their football game Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The player was ruled down on the one yard line and the touchdown was overturned upon review.Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Bears QB Justin Fields removed from injury report, to start vs. Packers

Justin Fields was removed from the injury report and reinstalled as the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears on Friday.

Fields cleared the required steps to return from a left shoulder injury, established by the Bears’ medical team and coaching staff, in time for a second matchup this season with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said this week Fields would play if he’s “100 percent ready” after Chicago turned to backup Trevor Siemian last week. Siemian was moved to injured reserve on Friday after opting for surgery to repair an oblique injury, Eberflus confirmed.

“It’s just progress. Mobility and strength,” Eberflus said of Fields’ progress. “He feels good. Had a good practice again (Friday). We’re excited where he is. … He feels like he’s 100 percent, ready to go. When you get your starting quarterback back, and he’s electric like that, obviously it’s a big boost in the arm.”

Fields has passed for 1,642 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 11 games this season. He has scored seven touchdowns on the ground and ranks sixth in the NFL with 834 rushing yards.

The Bears (3-9) and Packers (4-8) entered the week with QB questions.

Aaron Rodgers (ribs) was unable to finish the Week 12 loss at Philadelphia, but he will start at Soldier Field this week after saying he improved throughout the week.

Also, safety Jaquan Brisker (concussion), cornerback Kyler Gordon (concussion) and offensive tackle Larry Borom (ankle, knee) will miss the game for the Bears.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle (12) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bears sign QB Tim Boyle off Lions’ practice squad

The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Tim Boyle off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad Wednesday.

Starter Justin Fields was limited in practice Wednesday with his injured left shoulder and backup Trevor Siemian did not practice due to an oblique injury sustained during pregame warmups on Sunday.

Boyle previously played with Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy when both were with the Green Bay Packers during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said Fields would split the starters’ snaps at Wednesday’s practice with third-string quarterback Nathan Peterman. He said Fields and Siemian are considered day-to-day.

Siemian started Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the New York Jets and passed for 179 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

It remains to be seen who will be under center for the Bears (3-9) against the Green Bay Packers (4-8) on Sunday at Soldier Field.

The Bears, Eberflus said, are not expecting any surprises from the Packers despite Aaron Rodgers’ rib injury.

Boyle, 28, was 0-3 as a starter for the Lions last season. He has completed 64 of 98 passes for 541 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions in 16 games with the Green Bay Packers and Lions.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) tries to evade a tackle by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Arnold Ebiketie (47) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Justin Fields (shoulder) is game-time decision vs. Jets

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields was listed as questionable on the team’s Friday injury report due to his shoulder injury and coach Matt Eberflus labeled him a game-time decision for Sunday’s road game against the New York Jets.

Fields is dealing with a left shoulder injury. On Wednesday, Fields said the shoulder is separated.

“I think we’re going to let it go up to the game,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see where it goes. He’s feeling better every single day. We’ve got 48 hours to assess that to where we’re going to go with that.”

Fields injured his nonthrowing shoulder late in last Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The setback was the fourth in a row for the Bears (3-8).

Eberflus said Fields participated in individual drills and did some team work on Friday. The team listed him as a limited practice participant.

The medical staff will be monitoring Fields closely and studying the level of pain, strength and function in the shoulder.

“We’ll see where it goes,” Eberflus said. “It’s really a three-pronged effect. It’s really more about the medical staff clearing him all the way into that (playing) status, then him feeling really good about his performance — being able to go out there and perform — and then as coaches assessing where he is throughout the week of practice.”

Backup Trevor Siemian, who has thrown one pass this season, would start if Fields can’t play.

Fields has passed for 1,642 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 11 games this season. He has scored seven touchdowns on the ground and ranks sixth in the NFL with 834 rushing yards.

Also, safety Jaquan Brisker, cornerback Kyler Gordon and backup linebacker Sterling Weatherford were all ruled out Friday due to concussions.

Brisker has 73 tackles, a team-high three sacks and one interception. Gordon has 55 tackles and one interception and Weatherford has four stops.

Nose tackle Sheldon Rankins (elbow) has been ruled out by the Jets. It will be the second straight missed game for Rankins, who has 25 tackles and two sacks.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) walks off the field with medical personnel after a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Justin Fields says left shoulder is separated

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields said Wednesday that his left shoulder is separated and he will weigh how it feels before deciding whether he can play in Sunday’s road game against the New York Jets.

Fields hurt his left shoulder late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments,” Fields told reporters of the injury. “Basically, like an AC joint. That’s my understanding of it.”

The Bears view the injury as a day-to-day thing and hope to make a decision on Fields on Friday.

“We’ll see where it goes, and then when we get to tomorrow, we’ll know more, and I think by Friday we’ll know more,” Chicago coach Matt Eberflus said on Wednesday. “It’s kind of one of those things, you work through the week, and we’ll see where it is and hopefully we’re getting better and better every single day.”

Fields said he threw passes during Wednesday’s walk-through and felt pain in the shoulder. The Bears listed him as limited on their practice report.

“The pain is pretty high today just with throwing and stuff like that, finishing throws, just the pain with that,” Fields said. “I’m just going to work throughout the week to get that motion down, try to get that pain down a little bit and see what happens Friday night, Saturday. See how it goes.”

Backup Trevor Siemian, who has thrown one pass this season, would start if Fields can’t play.

Fields has passed for 1,642 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 11 games this season. He has scored seven touchdowns on the ground and ranks fifth in the NFL with 834 rushing yards.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) makes a pass after avoiding a sack in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa outduels Justin Fields as Dolphins edge Bears

Tua Tagovailoa passed for 302 yards and three touchdowns and Tyreek Hill had 143 receiving yards and a score as the visiting Miami Dolphins defeated the Chicago Bears 35-32 on Sunday afternoon.

Miami (6-3) notched its third straight victory since Tagovailoa returned from a concussion. Despite a standout effort from quarterback Justin Fields — who passed for three touchdowns, ran for another and accounted for 301 yards of total offense — the Bears lost for the fifth time in six games.

Fields rushed for 178 yards, breaking Michael Vick’s record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a regular-season game.

Chicago (3-6) finished with 252 yards on the ground. David Montgomery followed Fields with 36 rushing yards as the Bears joined the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only franchises in the Super Bowl era to run for 225-plus yards in four straight games.

Fields scored on a 61-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, then completed a two-point conversion pass to cut Chicago’s deficit to 28-25.

Cole Kmet had five catches for 41 yards and two touchdowns, with the second of those drawing the Bears to within 35-32 with 11:38 remaining. Miami followed with its second turnover on downs inside Chicago territory, but it regrouped to force a Bears punt. Chicago had another chance in the closing minutes but turned the ball over on downs near midfield.

Tagovailoa completed 21 of 30 passes while connecting with Hill, Jaylen Waddle and recent acquisition Jeff Wilson for touchdowns.

Chicago and Miami each scored on their first two drives, which the Dolphins’ pair of touchdowns eclipsing a touchdown and field goal for the Bears.

As the Bears prepared to punt on their third drive, Jaelan Phillips burst through the line to block Trenton Gill’s kick, and Andrew Van Ginkel recovered, racing 25 yards for a touchdown and a 21-10 Dolphins lead.

The Bears rebounded, however, responding with a 12-play, 75-yard yard scoring drive punctuated by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Darnell Mooney. The game entered halftime with Miami ahead 21-17 after Jason Sanders missed a 29-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the second quarter.

Waddle caught an 18-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the third quarter and Wilson scored on a 10-yard reception after Fields’ 61-yarder.

Fields became the first player in league history with three passing touchdowns and at least 140 rushing yards in the same game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass against the Detroit Lions in the second half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Bears to start Andy Dalton with Justin Fields ‘not there yet’

Justin Fields failed to receive medical clearance to return from his rib injury, meaning Andy Dalton remains the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Dalton is the No. 1 and Nick Foles his backup as the Bears take on the Arizona Cardinals.

“As far as for the game Andy Dalton’s going to start on Sunday, Nick Foles will be the backup,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said after Friday’s practice. “Justin’s making good progress, just not there yet medically for the clearance.”

Fields, Chicago’s first-round pick in 2021, replaced Dalton as the starting quarterback due to a knee injury but hasn’t practiced or played since Nov. 21. He was injured in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens and sat out as Dalton returning to the first-team role and helped beat Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.

The Bears are also without defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (groin) this week and wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) is questionable.

–Field Level Media