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Bears News

Who is Tyson Bagent? Get to know the Bears QB

8 months agoJake Mozarsky

During last week’s loss to the Vikings, Bears quarterback Justin Fields left the game earlier with a right hand injury that was later discovered to be a dislocated thumb. He is doubtful for this weekend and in his place, the Bears are expected to start rookie Tyson Bagent.

Bagent was 10-for-14 for 83 yards and an interception in relief of Fields against Minnesota while also rushing for a touchdown. That was his first regular season NFL action and he is relatively unknown to Bears fans and the rest of the league. So who is the rookie signal caller, and will he be up for the task as Chicago’s new QB1? Let’s find out. 

Before signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent this offseason, Bagent was a four-year starter at Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia. There, he became one of the most accomplished college quarterbacks of all time – he threw for 17,034 yards and 159 touchdowns as a starter and set the NCAA record for touchdowns. 

At Shepherd, Bagent was a 2-time DII All-American (recognized in 2021 and 2022) and in 2021 won the Harlon Hill Trophy, the award given to the most valuable player in NCAA Division II. His record for touchdown passes is across all NCAA divisions and the accolades show he had a legendary college career. 

Still, this was not enough for Bagent to be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he ended up signing with the Bears in May 2023 as an undrafted free agent. He was expected to compete for the backup quarterback role with P.J. Walker, who signed with the Bears on a two-year, $4 million contract during the offseason. Though the odds were against him, Bagent was just getting started. 

After impressing early on in practice, Bagent put his name on the map in the preseason, especially in the first two preseason games against the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts, where he completed 13-of-15 passes for 113 yards, rushed for a touchdown and had a QB rating over 97 in both games. 

Bagent earned the praise of head coach Matt Eberflus during the preseason, who said the quarterback competition was open going into the final stretch of August.

“He operated the offense, was in and out of the huddle,” Eberflus said in the preseason. “I thought he was accurate. The decision-making was good. So overall good.” 

Bagent was also able to earn the trust of many players in the Bears’ locker room, such as Robert Tonyan, who played with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his entire career before coming to Chicago.

The Bears ended up waiving Walker on August 29, making Bagent a backup quarterback along with veteran Nathan Peterman. Bagent was active for the first 5 games of the season but did not get into a contest until Sunday and though he did not have much time to prepare, he managed to get into a bit of a rhythm.

After the game, players such as D’Onta Foreman established their faith in Bagent. Foreman said that Bagent “came in, he commanded the huddle really well, was able to get guys lined up and tried to rally us back and get a win.” The hope is Bagent can get the Bears over the hump in Fields’ absence.

Now, with some preparation, Bagent is in line to start against the Las Vegas Raiders and possibly beyond. As Chris Emma stated in the preseason, “Bagent is a confident, poised player who believes he belongs” and his story may just be beginning. 

If being an NFL quarterback didn’t work out, Bagent certainly had a backup plan ready:

From a small DII school to starting an NFL game for one of the league’s most historic franchises, Bagent figures to get his shot this weekend against the Raiders.

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