The Chicago Bears selected Justin Fields out of Ohio State with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Whereas other teams seemed scared off by his potential red flags, the Bears clearly were not.
One team that could definitely have used a promising young franchise quarterback this offseason is the Denver Broncos.
So why didn’t they pursue Fields? An answer to that question emerged this week.
As it turns out, the Broncos were reportedly concerned about Fields’ epilepsy.
“It wasn’t the talent, we really liked the talent a lot. It was the medical. Look, the epilepsy…the concern about it was…the amount of risk that is there the day you draft him, versus what’s there 10 years down the line is the same. It never dissipates,” a member of the Broncos told Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.
“I did think it was interesting to know that the medical did play into Denver bypassing [Justin Fields].”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 19, 2021
Fields, for what it’s worth, maintains he hasn’t had a seizure since the ninth grade when he was initially diagnosed.
“I mean, it’s pretty simple for me to manage it,” Fields has said in the past. “I just have to take three to four pills a night, every night. It’s nothing crazy. It’s a thing that’s been there for the past seven or eight years, so I’m used to it, and I’m just going to continue to deal with it and continue to play the game that I love.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Fields suited up for his second career game as the Bears’ backup quarterback. During it he fell victim to this absolutely brutal hit from Buffalo Bills linebacker Andre Smith:
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 21, 2021
Despite the violence exhibited on that play, Fields stayed in the game. He ended up going 9-of-19 for 80 yards through the air and racking up 46 yards on 4 carries on the ground. For some perspective: the rest of his Bears teammates accumulated 40 yards on 13 carries on the ground.
In his first NFL go-round last week, Fields completed 14-of-20 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ win over the Miami Dolphins.
Clearly Chicago has something special in Fields – which is why they seem to be planning to start him in Week 2. Whether the Broncos will ultimately come to rue the day they passed on the former Ohio State star remains to be seen.
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— Game 7 (@game7__) August 18, 2021