Tyson Bagent

Bears Committed To Tyson Bagent As Backup Quarterback

Tyson Bagent made the rare climb from the Division II level to seeing rookie-year starts as a quarterback. Although the Bears have changed offensive play-callers since Bagent’s cameo in relief of Justin Fields, they remain committed to the former UDFA.

Chicago certainly changed up its QB room this offseason by making the unsurprising move to draft Caleb Williams first overall. The team added Brett Rypien, who is now entering his sixth NFL season. The Rypien move is not expected to affect Bagent’s status, with The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain noting there does not appear to be a competition for the Bears’ QB2 post (subscription required). As the only Bears QB returning from 2023, Bagent should not expect a change to his role.

Rypien could settle in as Chicago’s emergency third QB. Another tweak to the NFL’s rule involving emergency passers will allow teams to stash their emergency option on the practice squad and elevate that player continually. Teams will not need to pass their QB3s through waivers. Waivers would not apply to Rypien, who is a vested veteran, but the Bears would take a risk if they kept Rypien and exposed Bagent to waivers come August. But based on how the Bears structured their reps during their offseason program, Fishbain points to a clear Williams-Bagent-Rypien hierarchy — with Rypien on the practice squad as the emergency QB — being in place.

Bagent beat out both P.J. Walker and Nathan Peterman to be Fields’ top backup last year. His early work, as could be expected, featured some stumbles. While Bagent averaged only six yards per attempt and closed his four-game starter offering with three touchdown passes and six interceptions, the Bears did win two games with the Shepherd alum at the controls. Bagent also completed 65.7% of his passes, though he has been tasked with developing in new OC Shane Waldron‘s system.

Chicago added Rypien on a one-year, $1.1MM deal that includes no guaranteed money. The former Broncos backup spent the 2023 season with three teams. The Rams waived him after a rough start in Green Bay, and he made his way to the Seahawks’ practice squad — under then-Seattle OC Waldron — before the QB-needy Jets plucked him for their 53-man roster to close the season.

The Bears are currently carrying four QBs on their 90-man offseason roster. Rookie UDFA Austin Reed represents the least experienced option; he appears to be vying for a P-squad gig. The 16-man taxi squad era (since 2020) has given teams more flexibility, but even with the expanded P-squads and the recently reimplemented emergency-QB rule, carrying four passers has not been standard practice. Reed and Rypien may well be competing for one spot.

Reed spent the past two seasons as Western Kentucky’s starter, taking over for Bailey Zappe in the Hilltoppers’ pass-happy system. Reed’s numbers did not match Zappe’s record-setting 2021 slate — though, he did throw 71 TD passes from 2022-23 — but he did enough to convince the Bears to add him post-draft. It would still be a stretch for the Bears to use two young UDFAs as Williams’ backups; Rypien’s experience would stand to benefit him given the current Chicago QB room’s makeup.

Bagent can be retained on a rookie deal, through the ERFA and RFA channels, through 2026. The Bears could form a steady QB1-QB2 arrangement for a few years, should the second-year player keep impressing as the backup arm. Training camp represents Bagent’s next window to do so, but barring a significant step back, it appears the backup gig is his to lose.

Latest On Bears QB Justin Fields

Tyson Bagent will be under center for the Bears once again in Week 10. Coach Matt Eberflus told reporters that the rookie QB will earn a fourth-straight start while the team continues to await Justin Fields‘ return, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.

Fields continue to recover from a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand. While he was listed as doubtful on the latest injury report, Eberflus told reporters that the QB won’t play against the Panthers tomorrow night. Fields still hasn’t been cleared by Chicago’s medical staff, so his return is partly dependent on him passing all the necessary tests. The former first-round pick returned to practice on a limited basis last week.

“He’s getting better, though,” Eberflus said. “Accuracy’s improving. He’s throwing it better. And he’s starting to do more and more and more. So, we’ll see where it goes. Right now, we’re listing him as doubtful. And we’ll see where it goes from there.”

As Cronin notes, the Bears will have 10 days between Thursday’s game and their Week 11 matchup against the Lions. Fields hasn’t seen the field since Chicago’s Week 6 loss to the Vikings.

Bagent, an undrafted rookie out of Shepherd, won his first start, completing 72.4 percent of his passes for 162 yards and one touchdown. He’s lost each of his past two games, however, tossing five interceptions over that span. While the Bears don’t have a shot at the playoffs, the offense should get a spark when Fields returns to the lineup.

Bears QB Justin Fields Returns To Practice

NOVEMBER 5: Bagent will indeed get another start when the Bears visit the Saints today, but Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (video link) says Chicago is hopeful that Fields will be able to suit up for its Week 10 matchup against the Panthers. However, since that game is a Thursday night contest and will take place just four days from now, Fields — who still has “issues” with his hand — will need to make a fair amount of progress in a short amount of time.

NOVEMBER 3: The Bears have had to perform the past two weeks without the presence of third-year quarterback Justin Fields. While Fields has been dealing with a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand, Chicago has gone 1-1 riding the arm of undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent. Though Bagent may still be the team’s starter this week in New Orleans, the team has moved one step closer to Fields’ return after seeing him come back to practice today, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Fields originally sustained the injury in a Week 6 loss to the Vikings. The injury affected his grip on the ball, effectively removing his ability to pass the football. There were early concerns that surgery may be necessary, which had the potential to completely change the aspect of the team’s season.

Fortunately, Fields was able to avoid surgery and a stint on injured reserve, with head coach Matt Eberflus describing his quarterback’s status as “week to week” as swelling reduced and grip strength and mobility in the hand improved. Still, the injury was hampering the 24-year-old enough to hold him out of a second straight start last week, when the team lost to the Chargers with Bagent under center.

The injury came at a terribly inconvenient time for Fields. After spending the first two years of his career as a bit of a developmental project, much of the Bears’ aspirations this year hinged on Fields taking the next step towards becoming an effective starter. Through the first three weeks of this season, fans were beginning to worry that they may be subject to a third year of what they had seen in the prior two seasons from Field: inconsistent and turnover prone play while showing flashes of what made him a first-round pick in 2021.

Then, in back-to-back starts, Fields delivered two of the best performances of his young NFL career, completing 67 percent of his passes for 617 yards, eight touchdowns, and one interception over the two-game stretch. There had been performances in 2022 that displayed his impressive rushing abilities, but this was the first demonstration of Fields taking his passing game to the next level. That demonstration was put on hold due to the dislocated thumb, but Chicago hopes that its starter will be able to return soon and continue that successful progress.

In the meantime, if one practice isn’t enough for Fields to comfortably return to the field, the Bears are likely to start Bagent once again down in New Orleans. A graduate of Division II program Shepherd University, Bagent had won the Harlon Hill Trophy, often considered Division II’s version of the Heisman Trophy, back in 2021. He beat out incumbent backup Nathan Peterman for the backup quarterback job with strong performances in training camp and the preseason.

In his first career start, Bagent impressed with his composed game management in the team’s comfortable win over the Raiders, not needing to do much behind strong performances from the Bears’ defense and running backs. In Los Angeles last week, more was asked of Bagent as his defense and running game didn’t hold up nearly as well. The increased pressure amounted to less effectiveness and more turnovers against one of the NFL’s more porous defenses.

If it is Bagent that faces the Saints, he’ll be facing a group that has effectively shut down lesser opponents’ offenses so far this season, ranking 12th in points allowed and 8th in passing defense. Fields is likely returning to practice too close to the road contest to make a start this week, so expect Bagent to try to earn his second win as an NFL starter this week in the Big Easy.

NFC North Notes: Brissett, Bears, Lions

The Vikings will have a decision to make today. They have clawed their way from 0-3 to 4-4, sitting firmly in the NFC playoff race. But Kirk Cousinsinjury threatens to deal a death blow to Minnesota’s hopes of making a second consecutive postseason trip for the first time since the 2008-09 seasons. The Vikings attempted to add ex-Kevin O’Connell charge John Wolford, but the Buccaneers’ practice squad QB will instead be promoted in Tampa. However, Jacoby Brissett looms as a name floating around the league as a possible solution, Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda.com notes. While it remains unclear if Minnesota is truly intent on pursuing a notable outside upgrade, some around the league have mentioned Brissett as a sensible option.

Brissestt signed a one-year, $8MM deal with the Commanders but saw Sam Howell constantly mentioned as an ascending player this offseason. Howell won the job easily and has shown flashes. Brissett, 30, also has extensive experience as an emergency QB option. He took the Colts’ 2017 reins shortly after a trade, needed to replace Andrew Luck again after a surprise 2019 retirement and was called upon for an 11-game starter run during Deshaun Watson‘s 2022 suspension.

  • One theory regarding the Bears allowing Jaylon Johnson to pursue a trade centers around Chicago seeing what kind of extension the contract-year cornerback can command, per the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs. Johnson, 24, does not have to be extended immediately if traded; an acquiring team would have exclusive negotiating rights until the 2024 legal tampering period. Said team could also use the franchise tag, though the cornerback tag price — expected to be around $19.5MM — may not be realistic here. As of now, the Bears have until March to re-sign Johnson. Though, extension talks breaking off obviously does not represent a good sign. The 49ers and Bills are in on Johnson; the Bears have until 3pm CT to make a trade.
  • Staying on the quarterback topic, the Bears will once again go with Tyson Bagent. The rookie UDFA will start in Week 9, Matt Eberflus announced, with Justin Fields needing more time to recover from his thumb injury. This will be Fields’ third missed start. While Fields remains week to week, no surgery has taken place. But a Bears season that hinged on Fields making progress — after the team passed on using the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback, trading the selection away — has morphed into a rare backdrop for a Division II-produced arm seeing extensive time.
  • The Lions have made good on their offseason hype, starting 6-2. This will naturally lead to expectations their coordinators will be in demand come 2024. In the event the Lions see Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn become head coaches in 2024, after both interviewed for jobs this year, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that running backs coach Scottie Montgomery and Kelvin Sheppard are the most likely internal candidates to be promoted. Sheppard, 35, is in place as Detroit’s inside linebackers coach; he has been on Dan Campbell‘s staff for three years. The Lions added Montgomery, 45, this offseason, after he spent the past two years as the Colts’ running backs coach. Although continuity might be preferred, teams must interview at least one external minority candidate for coordinator jobs.
  • As trades dominate the news cycle ahead of the 3pm deadline, the Packers agreed to terms with Rashan Gary on a monster extension. The fifth-year defender is now the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid edge defender, signing a four-year, $96MM deal.

Bears Rule Out Justin Fields For Week 8

OCTOBER 27: After the Giants and Titans ruled out their respective starters, the Bears will do the same. The Bears will sit Fields for Week 8, which will mark his second absence due to the thumb issue. Sunday night’s game will feature Bagent against Justin Herbert.

OCTOBER 23: Justin Fields thumb injury caused him to miss the Bears’ Week 7 win, but questions remained through the weekend regarding his status moving forward. For the time being, it does not appear as though he will be able to suit up for Chicago’s next game.

When speaking to the media on Monday, head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed (via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times) that Fields’ status has not changed over the past few days. As a result, he is doubtful to play in Week 8 against the Chargers. That will leave Tyson Bagent in line to start another contest.

Fields is dealing with swelling in his right thumb, but surgery (and the IR stint which would likely come about as a result of it) is not on the table right now. That has left the 24-year-old with a week-to-week prognosis, with his ability to grip the ball being a major determinant in when he will next see the field. Of course, Eberflus’ doubts on that front emerging early in the week suggest Fields will remain sidelined for at least one more game.

Bagent overtook veteran Nathan Peterman on the depth chart in large part due to his strong performances in training camp and the preseason, and he made his first career start on Sunday against the Raiders. The undrafted rookie delivered an efficient, turnover-free outing and helped lead the team to a win. While Eberflus confirmed Bagent will handle starting duties while Fields is away, he has made it clear multiple times the latter will be QB1 upon return.

Nevertheless, all eyes will likely be on Bagent over the next several days as the Bears look for a third win in four games against an underwhelming Chargers team. Fields, meanwhile, will continue his rehab and any further updates on that front will be worth watching closely as the week progresses.

Latest On Bears QB Justin Fields

OCTOBER 22: Prior to the Bears’ Week 7 win, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports confirmed that IR is not a consideration in Fields’ case while noting that “multiple” missed weeks remains a distinct possibility. Of course, much will depend on the swelling in his right thumb and his ability to grip the ball in the coming days. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler adds that the 24-year-old is “determined” to return as soon as possible, which means suiting up in Week 8 is still in play at this point.

Bagent impressed in the victory, completing 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown. He added 24 yards on the ground and avoided any turnovers, which should boost the team’s confidence in him should he be needed moving forward. To no surprise, though, Eberflus confirmed in his post-game remarks that Fields will remain the unquestioned starter upon his return.

OCTOBER 21: As expected, Justin Fields has been ruled out for tomorrow’s game against the Raiders. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the Bears quarterback will miss much time. Per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, there’s optimism “about the quarterback’s prognosis beyond Week 7.”

Further, coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears are “not on that path” when asked if Fields will require surgery and/or a stint on injured reserve (per Adam Jahns of The Athletic). Swelling in the quarterback’s injured thumb has gone down this past week, but Eberflus did caution that Fields may eventually need to go under the knife after the season. The coach also indicated that the training staff is especially focused on Field’s “grip strength,” and it doesn’t sound like the QB is at the necessary level to play this weekend.

“He’s improving,” Eberflus said (via ESPN). “The mobility’s getting better, the swelling went down, the grip strength is better. It’s trending in the right direction. He’ll be week to week and we’ll know more Monday.”

Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent will earn the spot start on Sunday in place of Fields. The DII Shepherd product filled in for Fields last weekend against the Vikings, completing 10 of his 14 pass attempts for 83 yards and one interception. The rookie also had a pair of rushes for four yards and one touchdown. Bagent earned a number of accolades during his college career, including a pair of first-team DII All-American nods.

Fields has guided the Bears to a 1-5 record through six starts this season, perhaps leaving the door open to a QB competition if Bagent plays well. However, Eberflus quickly shut down that notion, declaring that Fields will return to the starting lineup when he’s healthy.

“Yeah, obviously Justin’s our starter and we’re working him back in there,” Eberflus said. “So we’ll see where it goes and as he progresses we’ll see where it is.”

QB Notes: Watson, Bears, Jones, Chiefs, Pats

Missing another Browns practice, Deshaun Watson provided details on his shoulder injury Wednesday. The seventh-year passer said he suffered a micro tear in his right rotator cuff, which the Akron Beacon Journal’s Chris Easterling notes amounts to a strained shoulder. Previously called a bruise, Watson’s injury will threaten to keep him sidelined for a third game. Watson’s hiatus did not begin until the Browns ruled him out hours before their Week 4 game. Watson said an MRI conducted the night before revealed he was battling more than a bruise.

Kevin Stefanski confirmed the obvious, after a 49ers upset, that P.J. Walker will remain the team’s backup. Watson added that he has been told this micro tear will not develop into a bigger injury that requires season-ending surgery, but the well-paid QB is resting to ensure he can throw without restrictions. Although Watson himself expressed hesitancy regarding a return Sunday, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes the Browns are optimistic their top QB will be back. Watson has been cleared to play for weeks, but he and the team are believed to be on the same page regarding his return plan.

Here is the latest from the quarterback landscape:

  • Bouncing on and off the Bears‘ 53-man roster, Nathan Peterman is on the team at the moment. His yo-yoing between the practice squad and the active will pause for the time being, with Justin Fields doubtful for Week 7 with a dislocated thumb. Peterman, however, will serve as the backup to rookie UDFA Tyson Bagent, Matt Eberflus confirmed (via The Athletic’s Adam Jahns). Hailing from Division II Shepherd, Bagent replaced Fields in Week 6. Fields’ absence may last longer than one week, via SI.com’s Albert Breer, though it is still too early to tell here. Eberflus confirmed the team is still considering a surgery, which would redefine the team’s season.
  • It does not look like Daniel Jones will be able to go in Week 7. The fifth-year Giants quarterback continues to feel neck and left shoulder soreness and has not been cleared for full work. Though, Jones has been cleared to throw, Brian Daboll said. He just has not been cleared for contact, per the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz. Jones missed the final six games of the 2021 season because of a neck injury, one that led Daboll to New York to replace Joe Judge. Daboll said Jones’ season is not in jeopardy. Tyrod Taylor remains in place as the Giants’ backup, with Daboll reminding there is no competition between he and Jones for the starting role.
  • Stashed on the Patriots‘ practice squad until mid-October, Malik Cunningham played six offensive snaps against the Raiders in his NFL debut. The rookie UDFA may be in line for a bigger role soon. The Patriots’ coaches are discussing ways to increase the quarterback/receiver option’s usage, ESPN’s Dan Graziano writes. The Patriots have struggled in just about every facet offensively, sinking to 1-5. Cunningham flashed in the preseason. With Mac Jones and his wide receivers not making notable impacts, Cunningham would seemingly be worth a try as a gadget player.
  • The Chiefs updated Patrick Mahomescontract in September, providing a necessary adjustment after the QB market had passed the two-time MVP since his 10-year, $450MM extension came to pass in July 2020. Mahomes remains the only NFLer signed into the 2030s, and Fowler adds some agents have wondered if the Chiefs are using their superstar quarterback’s lengthy deal as a precedent in other players’ negotiations. The Chiefs engaged in extensive Chris Jones negotiations this offseason, failing to agree on an extension. Though, money was believed to be a bigger factor than contract length. Kansas City, however, did see contract length factor into its talks with Orlando Brown Jr. last summer. The Pro Bowl left tackle balked at a six-year offer worth $139MM, citing dissatisfaction with the guarantee. Rather than what would have been a seven-year commitment to the Chiefs, Brown hit free agency and signed a four-year, $64MM Bengals deal this offseason.

Bears QB Justin Fields Dealing With Dislocated Thumb, Doubtful For Week 7

OCTOBER 16: When speaking publicly about Fields’ injury, head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed the 24-year-old is dealing with a dislocated thumb. Fields is doubtful to play in Week 7, but more clarity on his return timetable will likely not emerge until later in the week, including a decision on whether or not surgery will be in play (h/t ESPN’s Courtney Cronin). Much will depend on the swelling in the affected thumb, but for now Bagent can be penciled in as Chicago’s starter moving forward.

OCTOBER 15: Early into the second half of the Bears’ loss to the Vikings today, third-year quarterback Justin Fields was forced out of the game with an injury to his throwing hand. Specifically, according Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the injury was to Fields’ thumb, affecting his grip on the football. Fields was unable to effectively grip the ball and spent the remainder of the game on the sideline as a result.

Fields third year in the NFL started off in a rocky manner as fans continued to question his effectiveness as an NFL starter. Three straight losses to open the year while throwing three touchdowns to five interceptions and only averaging 175.33 passing yards per game only added to the mounting critiques.

In the team’s past two contests leading up to today’s game, though, Fields was beginning to show the promise becoming of his high draft status. In a close loss and a big first win of the season, Fields threw eight touchdowns to one interception while averaging 308.5 passing yards per game. Coming off those two strong performances, a divisional contest against the struggling Vikings was becoming a game to watch for Fields. Unfortunately, the injury to his hand kept him from continuing that recent success with a big second half.

In his absence, Chicago put in undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent out of Shepherd University. In his NFL debut, Bagent was mostly efficient, aside from a desperation interception in the game’s dying moments, while being mostly conservative as a substitute. After a critical fumble that ended up being returned for a touchdown, Bagent wasn’t able to erase the Bears’ 13-point deficit, but he did lead the team on a touchdown drive to make it a one-score game.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, head coach Matt Eberflus disclosed that the X-rays on Fields’ hand were negative, indicating no broken bones. He will undergo an MRI tomorrow in order to determine if there is any other potential damage that may take time to recover from. If the MRI turns up something that will force Fields to miss time, or if Fields is still struggling to grip the ball next week, Bagent may hear his name called again especially if fellow backup Nathan Peterman remains unavailable.

Bears Make WR Chase Claypool A Healthy Scratch In Week 4, Actively Trying To Trade Him

6:00pm: There are conflicting reports coming out of Chicago this afternoon following the team’s crushing loss to the previously 0-3 Broncos. According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, head coach Matt Eberflus told the media that the decision for Claypool not to attend “today’s game after being made inactive was the wide receiver’s choice,” insinuating that the Bears didn’t instruct the beleaguered player to stay away.

Another source, Adam Jahns of The Athletic, provided an updated report later in the afternoon that a team spokesperson clarified the opposite claim, explaining that the Bears did, in fact, ask Claypool to stay home, away from the game, today.

There is clearly an extreme amount of tension building between the two parties, creating a schism that is starting to seem impossible to span. Eberflus claimed that he anticipates seeing Claypool back in the building tomorrow, but it’s unclear if the two sides will be able to come to a working agreement.

11:45am: Poles is actively trying to trade Claypool, as NFL insider Jordan Schultz reports. Poles is calling teams he believes may be in the market for a receiver and is looking for a fifth- or sixth-round pick in return.

11:06am: The Bears have made wide receiver Chase Claypool a healthy scratch for their Week 4 game against the Broncos (Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported the team’s plan to make Claypool inactive). Fellow wideout Equanimeous St. Brown, on the heels of a strong week of practice, will be active for the first time in 2023.

This represents another low in a disappointing Chicago tenure for Claypool. The former second-round pick of the Steelers, who was a focal point of Pittsburgh’s offense over the 2020-21 campaigns, was shipped to the Bears in advance of last year’s trade deadline in exchange for what turned out to be the No. 32 overall pick of the 2023 draft (which the Steelers used to selected Joey Porter Jr.).

Bears GM Ryan Poles added Claypool in an effort to surround quarterback Justin Fields with more receiving talent, an effort that continued with this offseason’s acquisition of D.J. Moore. However, in the 10 games that Claypool has played for Chicago, he has amassed just 18 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown.

As Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times details, Claypool was criticized by his coaches and teammates for not showing enough effort in the Bears’ 2023 regular season opener against the Packers. Prior to the club’s Week 2 game versus the Bucs, Poles said that he expected Claypool to make changes.

“And if he doesn’t,” Poles said, “then we’ll have to figure out what we’re going to do after that.”

While Claypool exhibited better effort in that matchup with Tampa Bay, catching three balls for 36 yards and a score, he caught just one pass for 15 yards in the Bears’ Week 3 drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs despite playing in 86% of the team’s offensive snaps. To be fair, the Kansas City loss was nightmarish for the entire team, but Claypool has obviously fallen out of the good graces of his coaching staff.

Claypool is likewise not too fond of the staff at the moment. When asked this past week if he believed he was being put in the best position to succeed, the Notre Dame product paused for seven seconds before saying, “no.”

“Obviously, there’s other places,” Claypool added. “You can say, ‘Oh, I want to be on the best offense with the highest passing yards,’ but that doesn’t happen in football. You just have to make do with what you’ve got.”

As Finley notes, it is unclear whether Claypool knew that he was being benched when he made those comments, or if the comments contributed to his benching. Either way, it is not a good look for a contract-year player to be scratched by a team that is desperate for offensive production. It is fair to wonder if the Bears will seek to move Claypool at this year’s deadline, though they will obviously not come close to recouping their own investment in him if they do put him on the block.

In related news, the Bears are elevating Tyson Bagent to the QB2 role behind Fields, according to Rapoport. Bagent, an undrafted free agent out of D-II Shepherd University, had an impressive summer and was rumored to be in the running for the backup job when the season got underway. While Chicago installed veteran Nathan Peterman as Fields’ clipboard holder for the first few weeks of the campaign, Bagent has done enough to merit a promotion.

Rapoport made it clear that the move does not impact Fields’ standing with the team.

Latest On Bears’ Backup QB Situation

SEPTEMBER 8: As expected, Eberflus said on Friday that it will indeed be Peterman backing up Fields when the Bears host the Packers on Sunday. The veteran will thus be turned to if anything should happen to Chicago’s starter during the game. Bagent will be designated the emergency third quarterback, meaning he will be in uniform without counting as part of the team’s gameday lineup. Only injuries to Fields and Peterman would allow the rookie to enter the game, though, and a return from either would obligate Bagent to head back to the sidelines.

SEPTEMBER 3: The Bears only had two quarterbacks on their initial 53-man roster after deciding to release both P.J. Walker and Nathan Peterman. The decision to cut the latter proved to be a paper transaction, though, and he is again on the active roster.

As a result, questions have been raised about how the backup spot will shake out behind Justin Fields. The QB2 role was up for grabs during training camp and the preseason, and the play of undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent earned him at least a roster spot to start the year. He may not see backup duties right away, however.

“We have not decided that,” head coach Matt Eberflus said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, when asked about who will dress behind Fields in Week 1. “We’re sure glad to have [Peterman] back. He’s really good for that room. Him and Justin learned the offense together, so to speak, so they’re speaking the same language. So they understand it really well. It’s good to have him in the room.”

Peterman’s inclusion on the active roster – as opposed to the practice squad – could suggest he is in line to serve as the backup at least early in the season. Biggs predicts that the 29-year-old will start the campaign in the No. 2 role, which would relegate Bagent to emergency QB duties. Teams are allowed to carry three signal-callers on the roster while still only dressing two on gamedays. Injuries to the starter and backup are required for the third-stringer to be allowed to enter the game, however.

As Biggs notes, Bagent could move himself past Peterman while continuing to impress in practice during the season while the more experienced option works as a fill-in option. Things could change quickly from the presumed depth chart in short order, and Eberflus is not (at least publicly) prepared to declare how the team will proceed at the position to start the year.

“We wanted to secure him in that situation,” he said of Peterman’s release and re-signing. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future with who’s going to be up for the game, who’s going to be the backup. We’ll decide that as we go.”