Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is reported as questionable to play against the New York Jets on Sunday.
Fields, who landed out of bounds on his left, non-throwing shoulder after being tackled on the Bears’ final drive in a defeat against Atlanta, said he has a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments. It was a limited practice for him on Thursday and Friday.
Coach Matt Eberflus said Fields’ playing status would be determined at game time.
“I think we’re going to let it go up to the game,” Eberflus said. “We’ll try to do that. We think that’s where it is, and we’ll see where he is at game time and see how he feels.”
Eberflus said that deciding to play the 23-year-old quarterback would be a “three-pronged effect.” It will be necessary for Fields to be cleared to play by the Bears’ medical staff, and he would have to “feel really good about his performance.” Finally, Eberflus said Chicago coaches would evaluate Fields at practice during the week to determine his status.
“He’s able to do a lot of things, so we’re getting him in there with what he can do, and he’s been doing good in there,” Eberflus said.
If Fields is unavailable, the Bears will start backup quarterback Trevor Siemian against the Jets. According to Eberflus, it’s not necessary to prepare two different game plans depending on the starting quarterback.
“You do have to have plays that are for Justin, and the ones were designed and are designed, then you have to have ones that are designed for the backup at that position, for sure. But it’s not a huge range,” Eberflus said.
Chicago has lost four straight games and is 3-8. There have been questions raised about whether it would be better to sit Fields so his shoulder could heal than to play the quarterback at a compromised condition, but Eberflus said if the Bears were in the playoff hunt, the QB decision would not change.
“My preference is [for him] to play if he’s 100 percent ready to play,” Eberflus said.
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