May 17, 2021 6 min read

Question of the summer: When will Justin Fields start?

Question of the summer: When will Justin Fields start?

Good morning, frents!

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Sunday's results
Cubs 5, Tigers 1
Sox 4, Royals 3
Bulls 118, Bucks 112
Portland 5, Red Stars 0

Today's schedule
Nats at Cubs (6:40, Marquee)
Sox at Twins (6:40, NBCSCH)

The obvious question

(USA Today Sports)

When?

Take all the other questions about the 2021 Chicago Bears and they're eclipsed by that simple one-word query about Justin Fields' debut.

The answer after this weekend's closely-watched rookie minicamp is the same as it's been in the weeks after the team's game-changing draft.

Not yet.

That didn't come as a big surprise, but the question still had to be asked of Matt Nagy on Sunday, just as it will be necessary for however many days until Fields is tapped on the shoulder for his first NFL action.

“Andy (Dalton) is the starter. Andy is going to get the (No. 1) reps,”  Nagy told reporters on Sunday. “What we’re telling Justin and Nick [Foles] to do is make sure they’re doing everything they can to be that guy."

"Everything they can" sure seems hard to quantify when you're talking about practices conducted in shorts before a press corps wondering what and when they're allowed to tweet about what they're seeing.

But it will also presumably include everything behind closed doors at Halas Hall — like Fields' performance in the film room and his presence around teammates.

Fields got good reviews in all areas from rookie teammates and media over the weekend, though let's be real: Media was only allowed to watch four passes and we stood a better chance of Mitch Trubisky pulling a George Costanza than anyone saying the new rookie QB is a real jerk.


Still, all this positivity about the Bears is pretty awesome, isn't it?

While I'm still worried the rest of NFL Twitter will have a lifetime's worth of ammo if things with Fields don't work out, it's been fun to read all the hopeful tweets and get way ahead of ourselves.

Have we ever had this much anticipation for a debut before?

I think it's safe to say we haven't. While both baseball clubs have had their share of hyped prospect arrivals, they're not the uniting force in Chicago like the Bears.

Derrick Rose and Jay Cutler come to mind, though both arrived long before social media became the monolithic mood gallery it is today.

I'm still glad Twitter is around, though. The photos and clips of Fields wearing the orange No. 1 jersey and a Bears helmet are the sustenance we'll need until we reach the preseason game against Miami on Aug. 14.

That's 89 long days away, if you're keeping track at home.

Watch: Scott and I run down the 2021 schedule game by game.
Buy: BreakingT has four different Justin Fields designs

News and results

Bulls 118, Bucks 112: Lottery chances take a hit in final game

Just the Bulls luck. Brooklyn clinched the No. 2 seed earlier in the day, which meant the Bucks had nothing to play for and could rest all of its starters. Though the Bulls didn't play Zach LaVine or Nikola Vucevic either, they still managed a win to finish the season 31-41.

  • The win put a decent dent in the team's lottery chances. A loss would've locked the Bulls into sole possession of the eighth-worst record and given them a 26.3 percent chance of landing a top 4 pick they'd be able to keep instead of sending it to Orlando.
  • But the win put the Bulls in a three-way tie with New Orleans and Sacramento. According to Tankathon, the three teams will have an identical 20.3 percent chance of landing a top 4 pick in the lottery, which is scheduled for June 22.

Toni Kukoc named to Basketball Hall of Fame

It's a long overdue honor for the Croatian who sparked basketball's explosion in Eastern Europe. He'll the fifth player from the Bulls dynasty to be inducted. (Yeah, don't forget Robert Parish.)

Sky soar in season opener, Red Stars falter

Perfect timing: The Bulls and Hawks are exiting stage right just as our city's women come into view.

  • The Sky have high hopes and got their season off to a good start with a 70-56 romp over a Washington team playing without Elena Della Donne. Candace Parker had 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks in her Sky debut.
  • The Red Stars weren't as lucky, giving up four goals in the first 30 minutes and losing Julie Ertz to a knee injury in a 5-0 loss in Portland.
  • Both teams will open their home seasons next weekend.

Sox 4, Royals 3: Ninth inning salvages split for Sox

Jose Abreu is going to have a statue out on the outfield concourse one day, isn't he? If so, I propose it look something like this:

Abreu's game-winning slide capped a two-run ninth-inning rally for the Sox and forced a split of a weird four-game series that started on Friday with Abreu being involved in a collision so violent it got the Jerry Lawler treatment.

  • But all's well that ends well. Cleveland lost three straight against Seattle, so the division lead is up to 2.5 games.

Next: The Sox hit the road this week with three in Minnesota and three in the Bronx. Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 4.53) faces J.A. Happ (2-1, 4.26) just a few days after last week's slugfest.

Cubs 5, Tigers 1: Kyle Hendricks back on track?

Turns out that a date in Detroit is just what the Professor needed. Hendricks struck out eight and walked none over eight scoreless innings as the previously struggling Ian Happ went 3-for-4 with a homer.

  • Cubs are 19-20 after taking two of three against the Tigers.

Next: It's reunion time at Wrigley Field as Jon Lester and Kyle Schwarber come calling with the Nationals. Lester (0-1, 2.25) starts tonight against Adbert Alzolay (1-3, 4.50).

  1. It's a big loss for Chicago sports journalism, but happy trails to Barry Rozner. He's retiring from the Daily Herald on his own terms while he's still at the top of his game. Daily Herald
  2. Speaking of something not on the top of its game, Saturday Night Live did a Last Dance sketch a year after the documentary aired. I didn't think it was great, but it's been a few years since I enjoyed the show. Twitter
  3. Annie Costabile's cover story on Candace Parker's homecoming journey is worth your time. Sun-Times
  4. The attorney in the Blackhawks' sexual assault lawsuit said she expects to call a teammate and a person in management as witnesses. Tribune
  5. From a fellow CIMA member: Here's a really cool comic on the youth-led movement to battle pollution on Chicago's East Side. Borderless
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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