Justin Fields learning that nothing in NFL life is free

TAMPA, Fla. — Facing the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and their top-10 defense was supposed to be a chance for Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields to show he’s learning from his mistakes.

Instead, he gave us one glaring example he is not.

A week after Fields threw an interception against the Packers when he thought he had a free play but did not, he did it again.

On third-and-five from the Bears’ 40-yard line in the first quarter Sunday, Fields scrambled to make a big play because he thought he had a free one.

He rolled to his right under pressure and awkwardly threw downfield for receiver Allen Robinson. But the ball was off-target — Robinson slipping didn’t help — and the ball was intercepted by Bucs cornerback Dee Delaney. Six plays later, Tom Brady threw a four-yard touchdown pass to receiver Chris Godwin to give the Bucs a 14-0 lead en route to a 38-3 blowout.

As Fields said, stuff happens.

‘‘In the headset, they were telling me [the Bucs] had 12 men on the field, so I was trying to snap the ball quick,’’ Fields said. ‘‘And then me snapping the ball quick, I think it caught our receivers off-guard because we were trying to get a flag.

‘‘So me thinking [they] had 12 men on the field, that’s a free play. So I’m thinking, ‘All right, scramble around and stuff like that.’ And then I see…

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