Skip to content

Fields: Idea of returning kickoffs 'was a joke'

John Fisher / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Justin Fields won't be returning kicks for the Pittsburgh Steelers after all.

Teammate Jaylen Warren revealed earlier this month that special teams coach Danny Smith brought up the possibility in response to the NFL's kickoff rule change.

"Everybody interpreted it wrong," Fields told Brian Batko of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday. "Coach Danny was just trying to send a message that, no matter who you are, you could be on special teams. He just used that as an example."

He added: "It was a joke."

The NFL revamped kickoff rules this offseason, taking inspiration from the XFL by allowing up to two returners in the landing zone while preventing the rest of the blockers in the setup zone and the opposing kick coverage team from moving until the ball hits the ground or is caught.

The Steelers overhauled their quarterback room this offseason, trading for Fields and adding veteran Russell Wilson. They traded away Kenny Pickett, released Mitch Trubisky, and allowed Mason Rudolph to depart as a free agent.

Fields is expected to begin training camp as Wilson's backup.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox