LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Justin Fields took questions from the media today for the first time since dislocating his thumb late in the third quarter of the Chicago Bears’ 19-13 loss against the Minnesota Vikings nearly three weeks ago.
“I’ve been mentally preparing like I have been — like I’m going to play,” Fields told reporters after practice at Halas Hall. “But we’ll just see how it feels on Sunday.”
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus has been particularly mum when asked by media members about the progress of Fields’ injury, opting not to elaborate on the recovery process and answering questions by often saying, “we like where he’s at” on multiple occasions.
At practice Friday, Fields could be seen wearing a glove on his throwing hand as he tested out his grip strength throwing the football.
“Felt good, first day back throwing it, but I need a glove right now. It’s progressing,” Fields said. “Just seeing if I’m going to make all the throws and be able to withstand hits and stuff like that in the game.”
When asked where he is at in the recovery process, Fields acknowledged his thumb still isn’t fully healed, but he is preparing as if he will be on the field Sunday when Chicago travels to New Orleans to play the Saints.
“It’s not fully back, nahh. There’s still, of course, a little bit of pain,” Fields said. “Like I said, I’ve been preparing to go and play — meetings, walkthroughs, I’ve just been locked in.”
Fields also took the time to praise backup quarterback Tyson Bagent, who has filled in for Fields over the last two weeks — going 1-1 as a starter — as he works back from injury.
“Tyson’s been great. Since the day he stepped in, he’s worked hard. First game against the [Las Vegas] Raiders he played great, played his butt off,” Fields said. “He just wants to learn every day and he knows he can come to me for any questions. He’s been leading the guys and he’s ready to go.”
The Chicago Bears kick off at noon Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.