Analyst Has Strong Reaction To Steelers’ Justin Fields’ Crazy Role

Justin Fields, Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

Earlier this week, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren revealed that the team is considering having new quarterback Justin Fields serve as a kick returner.

The Steelers acquired Fields in a trade with the Chicago Bears, but only after the team had already signed Russell Wilson.

Fields is currently Pittsburgh’s backup quarterback, and unless Wilson gets hurt or underperforms, it will likely stay that way until 2025 at the earliest (Wilson only inked a one-year deal).

While having Fields return kicks could create a litany of problems (namely in the form of injuries), Fox Sports analyst Craig Carton thinks it could be a great idea.

“When he’s got the ball in his hands past the line of scrimmage, he is as dangerous as any player in football,” Carton said of Fields. “This shows me again why I love Mike Tomlin so much, because Mike Tomlin is willing to think outside of that proverbial box.”

Carton adds that he thinks this could really benefit Fields long term, as the signal-caller would be showing everyone that he can “do more than just throw a football.”

It’s certainly interesting thinking by Carton, but this would only really apply if Fields ends up being a backup for the remainder of his career.

That’s actually entirely possible. It may very well be that Fields isn’t capable of being a legitimate starter, and he may have to settle for a reserve role from here on out.

But Fields does not want to hear that right now. As far as he is concerned, he is battling for the starting quarterback job, and even if he doesn’t win it this year, he will be the odds-on favorite to win it in 2025 unless Wilson has a spectacular season in 2024.

Plus, even with the new kickoff rules, Fields would be taking a whole lot of extra hits as a returner, and those hits would be harder than the ones he takes under center. That could actually stunt Fields’ career rather than prolong it, so there are pros and cons to Tomlin doing this with him.

We’ll see what ends up happening as the offseason progresses, but if the Steelers do have Justin Fields work on special teams next season, it will definitely make things intriguing as far as his prospects going forward.

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