LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Chicago quarterback Justin Fields took time Wednesday to clarify comments he made after the Bears’ loss to the Green Bay Packers, saying he didn’t mean to go out of his way as a fan of his team.
Fields drew some criticism on social media for his relatively innocent response to a postgame question. He was asked if the loss at Lambeau Field was more concerning because of the rivalry and how much the fans wanted a rare win over Green Bay.
”It hurt more in the locker room than the Bears fans,” he said. ”At the end of the day, they’re not putting in any work. I see the guys in the locker room every day. I see how much work they put in. Coming off a disappointing loss like this, it hurts. All we have to do is respond.”
On Wednesday, Fields was asked about his approach to dealing with mistakes and not letting them linger. But instead of answering that question, he turned to his post-match comments.
Fields said he was so “frustrated” afterward that he didn’t even want to conduct his mandatory postgame news conference and wound up giving the wrong impression.
“What I meant is that I’m talking about work related to the game on Sunday, winning the game,” he said. ”I don’t know any fans. I don’t know what they are doing in their personal life. I respect all our fans.”
Fields said he became aware of the backlash because he was tagged in comments. The former Ohio State star is looking at it as a learning experience.
”I talked to my father about it, and as long as I’m in this job things like that will come up,” he said. ”So, just knowing that as long as I’m in this profession it’s not going to go away. So I have to be really clear for everything I say, be really descriptive of what I mean, or really don’t say anything at all.”
A more immediate concern for Fields and the Bears (1-1) is getting their running game going, with Lovie Smith and the Houston Texans (0-1-1) visiting on Sunday.
Chicago has a league record 153 yards passing. The New York Giants are 31st in the NFL, and with 318 yards, they have more than double that.
A heavy rainstorm ended the running game in Chicago’s win over San Francisco at Soldier Field. But the Bears didn’t get to go against Green Bay, either.
”I think it’s early,” coach Matt Eberflus said. ”It’s so early in the season right now. We’re two games in, let’s just let this thing roll, okay? And continue to grow.”
Fields was 7 of 11 for 70 yards against the Packers. He has thrown a league-low 28 passes, and his 15 completions are tied for 31st among qualifiers. Only Dak Prescott has 14 fewer, and the Cowboys’ quarterback missed Sunday’s win over Cincinnati after thumb surgery.
The struggles in the passing game are not all on Fields.
The Bears, for one, did not make major additions on offense during the season. The offensive line was inconsistent in pass protection. Darnell Mooney, a 1,000-yard receiver last season, has just two receptions for 4 yards, and tight end Cole Kmet has not caught a pass.
”If I threw zero passes and we won the game, I wouldn’t have any problems,” Fields said. ”Our goal as a team, as an offense, is to win games. Nobody is looking at how many passes I had, how many yards I had. We just want to win the game.”
NOTES: Star LB Roquan Smith (hip) missed Wednesday’s practice with a hip injury. … WR Velus Jones (hamstring), S Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) and TE Ryan Griffin (Achilles) also did not participate.
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