CHICAGO (SCS) — Bears quarterback Justin Fields cleared for practice afterin Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, but no decision has yet been made whether he will start Sunday against the Jets.
Fields, who was visibly in pain late in the game in Atlanta, said Wednesday he suffered from a separated left shoulder and a partial torn ligament but might be able to play through the injury when the Bears will host the Jets at Soldier Field on Sunday. .
Bears medical staff cleared him to return to practice at Halas Hall on Wednesday, but head coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday’s session would only be a walkthrough and Fields would be considered a limited participant.
Eberflus said Fields is staying “day to day” due to the injury, and confirmed the quarterback won’t need to go to injured reserve, but won’t commit to starting Fields or to keep him out against the Jets.
“We’ll assess that during the week. He’s feeling pretty good and we’ll see where it goes day by day,” Eberflus said.
Fields said team medical staff put him through various tests to check his strength and range of motion.
“It’s just a few moves I make with my arm, it hurts a little bit,” Fields said. “I’m just trying to work through those movements, and kind of get my arm used to moving in those particular movements that hurt it, so it’s used to moving that way, and it strengthens the muscle.”
Fields said he wouldn’t have been able to play if the team had played a game on Wednesday because he’s still experiencing a high level of pain and still has somewhat limited movement in his left shoulder.
“It’s a good thing we weren’t playing today. We’re playing, what, in four days? So we’ll see how it feels in four days,” Fields said.
Fields said as long as he felt he could protect himself on Sunday and wasn’t risking a bigger injury, that would be enough for him to play.
While the Jets’ defense leads the NFL in quarterback hits with 81 and ranks 4th in the league in sacks with 32, Eberflus said that wouldn’t be a factor in deciding whether to start or not. Fields.
“If he’s ready, he’s ready, and it won’t count,” he said.
However, Eberflus acknowledged that if Fields is still restricted on Sunday, or if he’s likely to aggravate his injured shoulder while playing, the Bears won’t risk injuring him further.
“If we ever think a player is going to go out and hurt himself, obviously we’re going to err on the side of caution, that’s for sure,” he said. “We’re not going to put a guy in danger, and he’s not feeling well, that’s for sure. So we want to do what’s best for the organization, but also for the player.”
Meanwhile, Eberflus has announced that center Lucas Patrick will miss the rest of the season, after undergoing surgery for his injured toe a few weeks ago. Patrick left the Bears’ Week 7 win over the Patriots and was later placed on injured reserve, which meant he would have to sit out at least four games and would have been eligible to return this week against the Patriots. Jets, but Eberflus said he won. won’t be back this year.
Patrick broke a finger during training camp and started the season as a reserve goaltender, before returning to center against the Patriots.