Bears' Justin Fields Defends Chase Claypool After Sideline Outburst vs. Lions

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 1, 2023

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields plays during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields defended teammate and wide receiver Chase Claypool after the pass-catcher got heated on the sideline during the team's 38-10 road loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic relayed Fields' remarks.

Kevin Fishbain @kfishbain

Asked Justin Fields after the game about Chase Claypool's moment of frustration. Pretty impressive display of leadership from the Bears QB <a href="https://t.co/F6WBVbCZHv">pic.twitter.com/F6WBVbCZHv</a>

Fishbain also described what went down:

Kevin Fishbain @kfishbain

Bears WR Chase Claypool was hot as he went to the sideline after that third down play. Tossed his helmet to the ground. Voiced his frustration to WR coach Tyke Tolbert. Justin Fields came over and talked to him for a minute.

The Bears acquired Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2023 second-round pick, but he hasn't been featured much in the offense. In six games, Claypool has just 12 catches for 111 yards on 23 targets. The low point occurred Sunday, when Claypool went catchless on one target.

The former Notre Dame star clearly has the potential to become a big-time threat. He burst onto the scene with seven catches, 110 yards and three touchdowns in just his fourth NFL game during his 2020 rookie season.

The 6'4", 238-pound Claypool finished that year with 62 catches for 873 yards and nine scores and added another two touchdowns in the playoffs.

Claypool posted a 59/860/2 stat line in 2021, but for whatever reason, he's seen regression in 2022 (44/422/1).

Perhaps a full offseason and training camp with his new team and more time to work with Fields would unlock the player who looked so promising to start his career.

For now, Claypool and the Bears are playing out the string of a lost season. They'll end the 2022 campaign next week against the Minnesota Vikings.