Bears' Justin Fields Impresses at Practice With Rotating WR Group

Fields impresses at practice with rotating WR group originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

In the Bears’ final practice before taking on the Chiefs in preseason action this Saturday, the offense looked better than it has in quite some time. They were once again effective in the low red zone, they moved the ball consistently and there were fewer penalties. For the first time, you could consider practice a “tie” between the offense and defense.

In the middle of it all was an impressive day for Justin Fields, despite working without Velus Jones Jr. and Byron Pringle, who are expected to be first-team receivers, in addition to N’Keal Harry and David Moore.

“His timing is getting better,” said Matt Eberflus. “That's really good because how do you get the timing down with different receivers? For him to be able to do that, that shows a lot, to me. We're excited where he is on that front, for sure.”

We’ve all heard coaches and players quote the “next man up” adage when others are injured. Usually, though, it’s tough to fully replace the impact a starter makes on the field with a backup. However, two guys in particular have made the most of their opportunity running with the ones with so many wide receivers hurt: Tajae Sharpe and Isaiah Coutler.

Sharpe made one of the best catches of the day on Thursday, when Fields found him in the back corner of the endzone, and Sharpe was able to tap both of his feet inbounds for a touchdown. He also looked spry in the open field when used in a wide receiver screen. Meanwhile, Coulter has managed to come down with several catches while well-covered. He also found the endzone on Friday on a quick slant.

“When you have a guy step up like that, that's awesome,” said Eberflus last week. “That's what it's all about, right? Guys go down, guys step up.”

Jones Jr. remains day-to-day even though he hasn’t practiced in nearly a week. Eberflus confirmed that Harry will undergo ankle surgery, and said Moore’s lower leg injury will keep him out of practice for a while, too. Eberflus plans on playing his starters between 10-20 plays on Saturday, with each player’s snap count being determined on an individual basis. Sharpe and Coulter may have extra opportunities to make an impression on their coaches against the Chiefs though, as they continue to fight for a roster spot.

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