Justin Fields knows something about performing in rivalry games after leading Ohio State past Michigan in college.
But Sunday will be the rookie’s first crack at the Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers rivalry.
Bears coach Matt Nagy often praises Fields’ ability to rise up in big moments. That helps with Nagy’s confidence in the young quarterback as the Bears prepare to host the NFC North-leading Packers at Soldier Field. The Packers have won the last four meetings and nine of the last 10.
“You see it on tape (with Fields). You can see it on TV. And then to be able to see it live and have it firsthand, and to see how he handles situations, there’s a calm for all of us,” Nagy said. “The fact that he’s that way, that’s a strength that not everybody has. When you play in front of over 100,000 people for all your (Ohio State) home games, it certainly helps you. And when you’re in these moments in the NFL, you’re able to use that to your advantage.”
Fields and the Bears offense will try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers despite being shorthanded in the run game.
David Montgomery is on injured reserve with a sprained knee, and backup Damien Williams tested positive for COVID-19 this week. That leaves sixth-round pick Khalil Herbert as the top option at running back.
The Bears are on a two-game win streak after upsetting the Las Vegas Raiders behind big days from Williams and Herbert in Week 5. The Packers have won four in a row after a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the season opener.
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson (ankle), outside linebacker Khalil Mack (foot), defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (groin) and kick returner Jakeem Grant (groin) were listed as questionable for Sunday after missing or being limited in practices this week.
Tight end J.P. Holtz (quad) and inside linebacker Caleb Johnson (knee) will not play.
Several players participated in full Friday but still were listed as questionable: safety Eddie Jackson (knee), defensive backs Duke Shelley (ankle), Xavier Crawford (back) and Artie Burns (foot), inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring) and running back Ryan Nall (ankle).
Along with Damien Williams, wide receivers coach Mike Furrey is expected to miss the game while in COVID-19 protocol.
The Bears flexed running back Artavis Pierce from the practice squad to the active roster as a COVID-19 replacement and flexed offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen to the active roster.
For the Packers, cornerback Kevin King is out. Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly is doubtful, and guard Elgton Jenkins and wide receiver Malik Taylor are questionable.
Miss anything this week? Catch up before the game (noon, FOX).