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Oddsmakers Give Justin Fields Slim Chance of Supplanting Russell Wilson



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields

Mike Tomlin has repeatedly stated this offseason that Russell Wilson will be in pole position to be the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback but there will be a fair competition during training camp.

The general drift out of OTAs and minicamp was that the job is Wilson’s to lose. He was significantly better than Fields in multiple aspects. The oddsmakers have appeared to take notice, too.

Russell Wilson has -750 odds to be the Steelers’ Week 1 starter, while Justin Fields has +450 odds, according to Jared Dublin of CBS Sports.

“The Steelers have also been pretty forthright about their expectation that Wilson will start under center. That seems unwise to me given that he is on a one-year deal and will turn 36 years old this season, and is therefore definitely not the team’s long-term answer. But the Steelers love nothing more than ensuring that they don’t fall under .500 no matter what instead of shooting for upside, so Wilson probably will indeed start,” Dublin wrote.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields at OTAs on June 4, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

According to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, Wilson had the fifth-lowest rate of incompletions due to inaccurate passes last season when he was a Denver Bronco. For all the flak that Wilson receives, he also had a 26-8 touchdown-interception ratio last season. That’s not bad.

Deshaun Watson had the highest rate of inaccurate passes (43.9%) in the NFL, while Kenny Pickett was at 35.0%. Justin Fields was tied for the 19th-lowest rate (30.8%).

Fields’ accuracy was bashed a few weeks ago. According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fields was inconsistent when throwing the ball during OTAs and minicamp.

“Fields, from what I’ve seen, they had a month of spring practices and he’s a terrific athlete, but really the knocks against him that I heard coming in actually turned out to be true,” Fittipaldo said during an appearance on Press Coverage on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He’s not terribly accurate with the ball. His placement isn’t all the great, and I could see them maybe having a package or two for him each week depending on the opponent, but I see this team as Russell Wilson’s team.”

Unless something unforeseen happens, Wilson will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m really pleased with what I heard coming (out) of there with Russ,” Daniel Jeremiah said on the Rich Eisen Show. “I know there’s been a lot of talk with him and [Justin] Fields. It’s Russell Wilson’s gig. Everything I’ve been told, they’ve been impressed with how he’s thrown. Throwing with anticipation.”