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Steelers QB Justin Fields laughs off kick return talk: 'I'm not here to do that'

It sounds as if the grand Justin Fields kick-return experiment with the Pittsburgh Steelers sadly is over before it started.

The whole thing was a bit of a farce -- at least externally, anyway -- based on comments being taken out of context, at least according to Fields.

"Nah, I'm not here to do that," Fields said on Tuesday, via The Post-Gazette. "It was kind of a joke, to be honest with you."

The March trade that landed Fields in Pittsburgh was surprising enough when it happened, following the Steelers' signing of presumed starting quarterback Russell Wilson. But when Steelers running back Jaylen Warren went on Cam Heyward's podcast and mentioned that special-teams coordinator Danny Smith had floated the idea of using Fields on kickoff returns this season, Fields' potential role in Pittsburgh took an even more surprising turn.

The NFL's sweeping changes on kick-return rules for the upcoming season made this sound like a fascinating possibility. But if Fields' comments are to be taken at face value, it sounds as if the idea was more rhetorical than practical.

"I think everybody kind of interpreted it wrong," Fields said told reporters on Tuesday. "Coach Danny was basically 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."

Fields said he got a laugh out of the reaction he saw to the idea when the public first caught wind of it.

"It's funny how serious social media takes everything," Fields said. "It was kind of funny to me when everybody was making a big deal about it for no reason."

Fear not: Fields has been working at quarterback extensively and last week said he's “definitely competing” with Wilson for QB1 honors, and head coach Mike Tomlin praised both for their work under center to this point.

But whether it was Fields being coy or throwing out a red herring, he didn't totally dismiss the possibility of being used on kickoffs under special circumstances.

"Hey, you never know," Fields said, grinning. "(Coach Smith) might cook something up. We'll see what happens."

Perhaps the dream isn't totally dead, but don't update your depth charts just yet.

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