In a return to tradition, the Chicago Bears will have four permanent captains for the 2022 NFL Regular Season and an honorary captain that will be determined the week prior to each game.
For the Bears, the decision to have four permanent captains for the entire season is a welcomed change of pace from how the captain elections were handled under former head coach Matt Nagy.
Instead of opting for the season-long captains, Nagy would rotate the captains each week and it was mostly determined by veteran status or if a Bears player was set to play their former team in the upcoming game.
First-year Bears head coach Matt Eberflu unveiled the 2022 team captains on Wednesday.
Representing the Bears as team captains this season will be quarterback Justin Fields, offensive lineman Cody Whitehair, defensive end Robert Quinn, and linebacker Roquan Smith. For what it’s worth, running back David Montgomery will be the honorary captain for the Bears’ Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
The Bears 2022 captain selections also prove to debunk rumors surrounding two particular players and their status with the team.
Ever since Eberflus was named as the team’s new head coach by new Bears’ general manager Ryan Poles, there were questions regarding Fields’ status with the Bears. Many perceived the Bears’ lack of significant changes on offense as an indicator that the new regime is looking to move on from Fields. In addition, after running back Khalil Herbert was the rookie recipient of the Bears’ Brian Piccolo award last season, many took that as an opportunity to question Fields’ status as a leader within the locker room.
Fields being named as one of the team captains for the 2022 season should put to rest the misguided rumors that he is not a leader in the locker room. The honor should also put to rest the idea that the new regime is not a believer in the second-year quarterback out of Ohio State. The Bears are now Fields’ team and he has the backing of both the coaching staff and front office. That could not be said last season when the previous coaching staff aimed to derail his development as a quarterback and leader with every turn.
Joining Fields for the coin-toss procedure before each game this season will be veteran defensive end Robert Quinn. Quinn’s selection as one of the 2022 team captains comes a season after he broke the Bears’ single-season sack record with 18.5 sacks.
The season captain tradition has returned to the Chicago Bears locker room for 2022 and sends a clear message regarding the team’s leaders.
Like Herbert, Quinn received honors from the Bears last season as he was the veteran recipient of the Brian Piccolo award. Despite the success and given an offseason where the team ridded themselves of aging veterans such as Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, Quinn’s status with the team has been in question.
The expectation was that Quinn would be traded before the 2022 NFL Draft but after a deal never materialized and Quinn proceeded to skip the Bears’ voluntary mini-camps in the offseason, the veteran defensive end reported to training camp and clarified that he is not looking to be traded from the Bears.
Quinn’s status as a 2022 team captain not only confirms the fact that he never was looking for a trade out of Chicago but that the veteran has bought into the philosophies of Eberflus. Eberflus having the buy-in of a veteran such as Quinn is definitely the right endorsement and sends a clear message to the team as the season begins.