LAKE FOREST, Ill. — It looks like the Bears will not have their starting quarterback for at least this upcoming week.
But head coach Matt Eberflus didn’t have a long-term outlook for Justin Fields after his injury on Sunday afternoon.
The third-year signal caller’s dislocated thumb has made him “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against the Raiders at Soldier Field and there is “no timetable” as of Monday for a return. Eberflus wouldn’t rule out Fields playing Sunday, yet wouldn’t rule out a long-term absence either.
This came after Fields underwent an MRI on Monday after an X-ray showed no breaks at Soldier Field on Sunday.
“It’s really going to come down to grip strength,” said Eberflus about Fields’ status for Sunday along with future weeks as the Bears wait for swelling around the thumb to go down.
Fields was injured on the first drive of the second half of the 19-13 loss to the Vikings, leaving the game after being sacked on third down. He was replaced by rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent, who made his NFL debut in the loss to Minnesota and would start against Las Vegas if the starter doesn’t heal.
Eberflus said that the team would have a better idea of Fields’ short & long-term status by the end of the week, including the possibility that the injury would require surgery.
“We just want to give it time,” said Eberflus. “There’s natural swelling that occurs in that, and just give it time. Give it time to see where it will go, give us the best opportunity to see where it is, and then we’ll make that decision.”
If he doesn’t heal in time for Sunday, it would be the first game that Fields would miss in the 2023 season. In 2022, he missed two games, one with a shoulder injury and the final week of the year due to a hip injury.
Before getting injured, Fields and the offense were dealing with a slow start after two strong weeks of passing. He attempted just ten passes, completing six for 58 yards and one interception that came after he was hit as he threw late in the first half.
For the 2023 season, Fields has completed 61.7 percent of his passes 1,201 yards and 11 touchdowns compared to six interceptions. He’s also rushed for 247 yards on 47 carries (5 per carry) for a touchdown.