Even with a separated left shoulder, Justin Fields is likely to play on Sunday against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.
The Chicago Bears quarterback took part fully in practice on Thursday at Halas Hall, putting him one step closer to making a comeback after missing the team’s loss to the New York Jets in Week 12.
Fields was injured in the final seconds of the Nov. 20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, suffering a separated shoulder and what he described as ligament damage. He had limited reps with the first team inside the Walter Payton Center on Wednesday and during all of last week’s practice sessions. Fields had no limitations as the team ventured outside to warm up Thursday.
Luke Getsy, the offensive coordinator, said before practice that the player is “sort of in the same boat as last week — day to day.” “I’m improving. like he did the week before, taking some reps. We’ll see how that plays out as the week progresses.
As a precaution after Trevor Siemian missed his second straight practice due to an oblique injury, the Bears added backup Tim Boyle of the Detroit Lions practice squad to the 53-man roster on Wednesday. Nathan Peterman is still on the practice squad, but it would be shocking if Fields didn’t play against the Packers if he appears healthy again on Friday.
With only five games left, the Bears (3-9) are out of time for Fields and the offense to get better in preparation for next season after losing five straight games and eight of nine.
Though the Falcons lost when Fields was hurt, the Bears scored 29.5 points per game on average over a five-game span, so things were looking better. Although the passing game is still very much a work in progress, Fields’ involvement in the running game has made it dynamic and effective.
That has been the main emphasis the entire year, Getsy added, “simply that we keep improving. The sessions in the film room have been excellent. He was imprisoned last week. He performed a fantastic job there. He is again imprisoned. Just make sure we keep moving forward and he keeps growing, getting these experiences so we can keep learning from them and he can keep developing.
“Because these opportunities are the most important thing. Although we definitely won’t risk it for just anything, it stinks that he wasn’t able to be there because he deserves as many opportunities and experiences as possible.
The Philadelphia Eagles allowed the third-most rushing yards ever against the Packers on Sunday, totaling 363 yards. Jalen Hurts, the quarterback for the Eagles, ran for 157 of those yards against the Packers’ 31st-ranked rush defense, which allowed 154.8 yards per game.
Getsy stated, “Can’t wait to always have Justin out there, regardless of what was going on.” “Philly does a pretty excellent job running the football in a bunch of different ways, and we’ve demonstrated that a bunch of different ways all year long. We aim to share in part of that success as well.
Last season, Fields missed four games due to ailments, including two from the rib and one from an ankle sprain. He will obviously need to receive the all-clear from the medical staff to play on Sunday, but a full pass in practice on Thursday is a good sign.
Wide receiver Chase Claypool remarked, “It’s always nice having a guy like that back.” He makes plays, right? So when he returns, we are happy. It stimulates the mind and body.