Jaylon Johnson: Justin Fields, running quarterbacks deserve better protection from officials


(670 The Score) Late in the fourth quarter against the Falcons on Sunday, the Bears had what would've been a key third-down stop negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty on cornerback Kyler Gordon. With that fresh in their minds, the Bears were certainly frustrated later when quarterback Justin Fields didn’t get the benefit of a flag thrown after he was hit around the helmet on a scramble.

Fields was playing through a left shoulder injury at that time, and the Bears’ drive ended shortly after with an interception, which sealed their 27-24 loss to the Falcons. In the aftermath, teammates have wondered why Fields doesn’t receive the same protection from officials that other quarterbacks do.

“There’s no reason why that one is not called as well,” Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson told the Parkins & Spiegel Show on Monday. “It’s just something that you want to be equal. If you’re going to call one, call the other one.

“The running quarterbacks don’t get protected as much. Whether that’s right or wrong, I just feel like that’s the thing. I just feel like the more dominant running quarterbacks, they just don’t get protected. It seems like they get treated as running backs, but they’re still a quarterback. Just because their legs are more advanced doesn’t mean the rules should change for them.”

The Bears planned to turn that hit on Fields into the NFL for review, coach Matt Eberflus said, something he and the team have done on multiple occasions already this season.

“When you feel like something is a wrong call or whatever, sure, you send it in,” Eberflus said. “We're really doing that for feedback. We're doing it for feedback for ourselves and how we can improve Justin and his style and just to say it wasn't a call, should it have been called or not so we can be consistent there.”

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