NFL Football

Bears QB Fields practicing despite left shoulder separation

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

By GENE CHAMBERLAIN

Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears will spend the week watching and waiting as quarterback Justin Fields hopes his left shoulder heals up enough so he can start Sunday against the New York Jets.

Fields said his injury is a shoulder separation with ligament damage within the AC joint, and added he wouldn't have been able to play Wednesday if the game had been held then.

"Today, probably not, but good thing we don't play today; we play in what, four days," Fields said. "So we'll see how it feels in four days. "

The injury is to his non-throwing shoulder, but he experiences some pain in that shoulder on his follow-through when he throws.

"It's just some movements that I do with my arm, it hurts it," Fields said.

The Bears held only a walkthrough practice Wednesday, but Fields was given an injury designation of practicing on a limited basis. Whether he can play Sunday depends on how much he progresses the next two days in practice.

"I just feel like if I can play and I'm not furthering the risk of injury, you know, I can do what I need to do to protect myself, I think it will be good enough for me to play," Fields said.

Fields said he could take a pain-killing shot if the shoulder can't be damaged further. He might need to wear a harness of some type, as well.

"I don't know what hits I'm going to take on Sunday, but if my shoulder can (withstand) those hits and stuff like that," he said, "I mean, you really can't predict if it will get worse or not just based on what's going to happen."

He'll test it out in full Friday.

"Just, practicing, throwing a couple days before the game," Fields said. "And of course I'm really not going to know how it's going to feel on the game day because I'm not about to get shot up a couple days before the game."

Fields hasn't had a shoulder injury before, but recalled how he had cracked ribs and a partially torn hip muscle in the national championship game and still played for Ohio State two years ago.

"I mean, you get a big game like that, that's the last game of the year," Fields said. "I've got to damn near die for me to not play in that one."

Sunday's game carries much lower consequences for the Bears (3-8), who are trying to avoid a five-game losing streak.

The Bears would start Trevor Siemian at quarterback if Fields can't play.

Fields will consult with team medical personnel before any decision is made.

"I think whenever you hurt something, you always have a chance to re-aggravate it, you know?" coach Matt Eberflus said. "It could be an ankle, a knee, or whatever it might be. That's part of the game, right?"

If called upon, Siemian would be starting against the team for which he played in one game in 2019.

"Your backup always has to be ready," Eberflus said. "Trevor has been outstanding in the meetings. Like I said the other day, he has great functional intelligence to be able to operate the offense, and he's familiar with the offense."

NOTES: Eberflus said veteran center/guard Lucas Patrick is done for the season. Patrick is on injured reserve but will not come off of it after he had toe surgery. He suffered an injury in the Bears' 33-14 win over New England on Oct. 24. Patrick signed in Chicago as a free agent to play center and got on the field for only 10 snaps at center. He started five games total, including two at each guard spot, because he had hand surgery during training camp. ... The Bears' two rookie defensive backs, safety Jaquan Brisker and cornerback Kyler Gordon, emerged from last week's loss at Atlanta in concussion protocol.

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Updated November 23, 2022

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