Jaylon Johnson wants 'equal' penalty calls for Fields, Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Since this past preseason, it's become apparent Justin Fields is getting hit late illegally. A lot.
And since the beginning, Fields was the first to recognize how infrequently the defense will be called for a penalty because of his low totem-pole status as a quarterback in the league. It stems back to the Bears' first preseason game against the Chiefs, when the officials missed a clear late hit call.
“I guess I'll just have to wait a few years, maybe four or five years, before I get that one,” said Fields back in August. “Hopefully I get it soon.”
Now, after several instances following the same pattern, Fields' teammates are fed up. Jaquan Brisker demanded respect from league officials after Sunday's Bears-Falcons game saying "they got to respect Justin some more and look at him as a quarterback because, obviously, there should be more flags."
On Monday, cornerback Jaylon Johnson added similar sentiments to a conversation he entertained on 670 the Score. He used Marcus Mariota's roughing the passer call on Sunday as an example to argue the eye-for-an-eye method for penalty calls.
"I would say it should just get called equal and there's definitely been – especially in our last few games – there's been some calls not equal on both sides," Johnson said. "I feel like his [Gordon's] was a flag. He did trip, but I can see that one. I feel like the one with Justin there's no reason why that one's not called as well.
"It's just something you just want to be equal."
Before Fields' late hit on Sunday went unacknowledged by the referees, they flagged Kyler Gordon for roughing the passer on Mariota. Gordon appeared to trip and hit Mariota's legs after the threw the ball. Players are not permitted to hit the quarterback below the knee when he has two feet on the ground.
Certainly, as Johnson alludes to, there are repercussions for missed calls. And Fields certainly sees the majority of the punishment.
He was sacked four times and hit countlessly on quarterback-designed runs and scrambles. On the first play of the game's final drive, Fields was hit and injured his shoulder. NFL Network reported he dislocated his left shoulder.
In subsequent action to Fields' missed call, head coach Matt Eberflus mentioned he sent in the play to league offices for review. At this point, he claims to have sent in "one to two" plays for review every week.
"There's no moral victories," Johnson said. "How many times are they gonna mess up? Until there's some accountability it doesn't mean anything."
Johnson also mentioned an example separate from Fields during the Miami Dolphins game. Eddie Jackson was called for a pass interference penalty, and the league withdrew. Meanwhile, the Dolphins weren't flagged for a blatant interference on Chase Claypool late in the game.
Whether or not the league admits their wrongdoing about a play doesn't matter. Johnson says the Bears talk about the instances when the league confesses their penalty mishaps. But, it doesn't create any justice. Johnson wants recognition and future execution.
"I feel like the running quarterbacks don't get protected as much," Johnson said. "I just feel like that's a thing. The more dominant running quarterback doesn't get protected."
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