LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields said he suffered an acromioclavicular joint injury in his left shoulder and will assess how he feels later this week before determining whether to play against the New York Jets.
“It’s a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments,” Fields said, describing his injury. “Basically, like an AC joint. That’s my understanding.”
The quarterback landed on his left shoulder after being tackled by the Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dee Alford on a first down run with 1:47 left in Chicago’s 27-24 loss to Atlanta. The Bears continue to classify him day to day and leave the door open for Fields to play on Sunday.
“We’ll see where it takes us and tomorrow we’ll know more and I think by Friday we’ll know more,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “It’s kind of one of those things, you work all week, and we’ll see where he is and hopefully we get better and better every day.”
The Bears held a walk-out on Wednesday. Fields’ projected status on the injury report was classified as limited, although the quarterback said he threw during Wednesday’s session and felt pain in his injured shoulder.
“The pain is pretty bad today just with the pitches and stuff like that, the finishing pitches, just the pain with that,” Fields said. “I’m just going to work all week to reduce this movement, try to reduce this pain a bit and see what happens Friday night, Saturday. See how it goes.”
The quarterback said he wasn’t sure if he had to wear a harness or brace on his left shoulder to play.
Fields was medically cleared to train after performing 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 when following up and also felt discomfort when handing the ball over on ongoing plays.
Passing the ball with his right hand, which would be the opposite of his current operation, is not something the quarterback plans to do.
“No. If I have to do that, I probably won’t play,” Fields said.
Eberflus said that once a player is cleared by medical staff, the next decision whether to play or not is up to the player himself.
“Once the player says ‘yes, I’m ready to go’, then the last hurdle is, or the last thing you have to say is, ‘OK, because of who is this guy, is he really , really ready to go?’ But once the medical staff say he’s cleared, that’s their job, he’s allowed to go,” the coach said. “So we have to decide, can he go full speed ahead? Can he operate? It’s like anything else. Like we had an injury a few weeks ago with a defensive back. It’s like, can he go full speed, and can he And it depends on the player and the eye of the coaches.”
Although the Bears have lost their last four games and are 3-8, Eberflus sees a level of importance in playing Fields if he is physically able.
“I would just say if he is ready to play, he will play,” Eberflus said. “He feels like that, we feel like that. If he’s ready to go, if he feels good, he’s going to play the game. Really, the reason is that we’re trying to win. We want to win the game. game. There’s a lot of good stuff to get the experience of playing a game, every game we can. It’s an important part of this season.
Fields noted that Eberflus said the decision would be his if approved by medical staff, and although his competitive nature led him to suffer other injuries, including cracked ribs and a partially hip muscle. torn apart in the Ohio State National Championship semi-final. against Clemson in 2020, weighing the effects another injury could have on the rest of his season is something he will consider.
“Of course, I’m not going to sacrifice playing in this game for me at the risk of not being able to play later in the games,” Fields said. “I won’t have to sacrifice playing in this game and now I get hurt, I have to be out for two or three more weeks after that. Again, just see how my body feels, listen to my body and m I don’t force anything and stuff like that. I just see how it goes.
Jets coach Robert Salah announced Wednesday that he would start Mike White at quarterback instead of Zach Wilson, which will be inactive and will receive “a reset”. If Fields can’t play in Week 12, Bears will turn to backup quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Wilson’s blame came under fire after a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots when the quarterback said “no” when asked if the offense let down the Jets defense.
Fields was asked Wednesday about a report that he apologized to the Bears defense in Atlanta after the Chicago offense failed to score on their last drive when they were leading by three points. .
“Yeah, I did,” Fields said. “I was having my shoulder checked and before I went to get the x-ray I just wanted to talk to the team. Because, I mean, it was 27-24, the defense held them to a basket, so they gave that opportunity. Of course, whenever we have that opportunity to tie the game or even win the game for the team, we want to do it.
“So I apologized to those guys, especially for that late-game pick. I felt like they did their job of holding them on a basket. It’s not like if they had given up a touchdown then we then had to score a touchdown… They did their job keeping them on a field goal and all there was to do on offense was go for points and we We just have to get better in those situations and keep going.