LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields said Wednesday he’s been struggling with an acromioclavicular joint injury in his left shoulder and will assess how he’s feeling later this week before deciding whether to fight will play the New York Jets.
“It’s a severed shoulder with partially torn ligaments,” Fields said of his injury. “Basically like an AC joint. That’s how I understand it.”
The quarterback landed on his left shoulder after being tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dee Alford on a 1:47 first down run to play in Chicago’s 27-24 loss at Atlanta. The Bears continue to rank him as Day-to-Day, leaving the door open for Fields to play on Sunday.
“We’ll see where it goes and tomorrow we’ll know more and I think by Friday we’ll know more,” said coach Matt Eberflus. “It’s kind of like one of those things, you work through the week and we’ll see where it’s at and hopefully we’re going to get better and better every day.”
The Bears held a walk-through practice Wednesday. Fields’ projected status on the injury report was listed as limited, though the quarterback said he threw during Wednesday’s session and felt pain in his injured shoulder.
“The pain is pretty high today, just throwing and stuff, finishing throws, just the pain with that,” Fields said. “I’m just going to work all week to reduce that movement, try to ease that pain a little and see what happens Friday night, Saturday. See how it goes.”
The quarterback said he wasn’t sure if he’d need to wear a harness or brace on his left shoulder to play.
Fields was medically cleared for training after going through a series of exercises to test his range of motion and the strength of his injured arm. He noted that he felt the most pain on his run and was uncomfortable giving off the ball during games in progress.
The quarterback has no plans to pass the ball with his right hand, which would be the opposite of his current operation.
“No. If I have to do that, I probably won’t play,” Fields said.
Eberflus said once a player has been cleared by medical staff, the next decision on whether to play is up to the player himself.
“Once the player says ‘Yeah, I can go,’ and then the last hurdle or you have to say, ‘OK, because of who this guy is, is he really, really ready to go?’ But as soon as the medical staff says he’s free, that’s their job, he’s ready to go,” said the coach. “Then we have to decide, can he go full speed? Can he operate? This is like everything else. Like a few weeks ago we had an injury with a defensive back. It’s like, can he drive at full speed, and can he operate? And that’s in the eye of the player and the coach.”
Though the Bears have lost their last four games and hold a 3-8 record, Eberflus sees some importance in playing Fields when he’s physically able.
“I would just say if he’s ready to play, he will play,” said Eberflus. “He feels this way, we feel this way. If he’s ready to go, feels good about it, he’ll play the game. Really, it’s because we’re trying to win. We want to win the game a lot of great things to get the experience of playing a game, every single game we can. It’s an important part of this season.
Fields noted that Eberflus said the call was his if he was acquitted by medical staff, and although his competitive nature has led him to play through other injuries — most notably broken ribs and a partially torn hip muscle during the Ohio State National Championship semi-final game against Clemson in 2020 – he will weigh the impact a re-injury could have on the remainder of his season.
“Obviously, I’m not going to sacrifice playing in this game for myself to risk not being able to play in games later,” Fields said. “I don’t have to sacrifice playing in this game and now I get injured, I have to sit out two or three more weeks after that. Again, just seeing how my body feels, listening to my body and making sure I’m not forcing anything and stuff like that. I’m just checking how things are going.
Jets coach Robert Salah announced Wednesday that he will start Mike White as quarterback in place of Zach Wilson, who will be inactive and given “a reset.” If Fields is unable to play in Week 12, the Bears will turn to backup quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Wilson’s accountability came under fire after a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots when the quarterback replied “no” when asked if the offense had let down the Jets’ defense.
Fields was asked Wednesday for a report apologizing to the Bears defense in Atlanta after Chicago’s offense failed to score on its last drive, three points down.
“Yes, I did,” Fields said. “I had my shoulder checked and before I went for the X-ray I just wanted to speak to the team. Because, I mean, it was 27-24, the defense held them to a field goal. so they gave us that [opportunity]. Of course, every time we have the opportunity to either draw the game or even win the game for the team, we want to do that.
“So I apologized to those guys, especially for that end-of-game pick. I felt like they did their job of holding them to a field goal. It’s not like they gave up a touchdown, so then we had to score a touchdown… They did their job of holding them to a field goal and all the offense had to do was take points, and we didn’t do that. All we have to do in these situations is get better and keep going. “
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35093730/bears-qb-justin-fields-says-separated-left-shoulder Bears QB Justin Fields says he has separated left shoulder