LAKE FOREST, Ill. — After injuring his non-throwing shoulder late in the 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is considered “day-to-day,” according to coach Matt Eberflus.
“Obviously, you guys know the injury report comes out Wednesday and right now it’s day-to-day,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see where he is on Wednesday. So, we’ve got time, we’ll see where it is and go from there.”
Eberflus did not want to disclose the team’s plan for Fields until the league-mandated injury report comes out Wednesday, pointing to a competitive advantage of keeping the New York Jets guessing as to whether the Bears will start Fields or backup Trevor Siemian at quarterback in Week 12.
Eberflus would not say whether the team considers Fields’ injury to be season-ending.
“We have not ruled that out at this point,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see where it is on Wednesday.”
Fields landed on his left shoulder after Falcons cornerback Dee Alford tackled him on a first-down run with 1:47 to play. Because it was inside the final two minutes of the game, the Bears had to use a timeout after the officials deemed Fields was injured. Eberflus said he didn’t regret not turning to Siemian to finish the drive.
“No, no. Justin said he was good, and he went back in,” Eberflus said. “We just took the timeout and went from there.”
Fields ran again on the following play and was hit near his injured shoulder by Atlanta defensive tackle Grady Jarrett while sliding. Eberflus clarified Monday that the Bears had actually called a halfback draw, not a quarterback run, on second-and-9.
Fields said postgame that he was dealing with cramps throughout the fourth quarter. Eberflus noted his belief that the Bears had the quarterback’s cramping issues under control when choosing which plays to call on their final drive.
“We know he’s dealt with that before because obviously he puts out a lot of energy during the game and we’re going to call our plays that we think are the best there, so that’s what we did and we went with it,” he said.
Chicago has two games remaining, against the Jets and Green Bay Packers, before its Week 14 bye. The bears will weigh the longer-term effects of Fields’ injury and whether to sideline him for a period of time to preserve his health.
“Certainly, all those things have to be looked at,” Eberflus said. “When you’re looking at injury for any player, what are the long-term effects of that and then where is it? Where exactly is it? Is it something that we can play through or is it something that we can have rest? With any player, we take equation into those two things.”
If Fields needs to miss time, the Bears will turn to Siemian, who signed with Chicago during the offseason. Eberflus did not think the Bears would encounter many changes in tailoring the offense to Siemian’s skill set after the ample changes the team executed to design the scheme around Fields and his dynamic rushing ability over the past month.
Running back David Montgomery noted the challenges the offense will face if Fields is sidelined against the Jets.
“It’d be very different, especially losing a guy like that,” Montgomery said. “Especially losing Justin, who he is and what he means to this team and to this offense. Yeah, it’s going to be super difficult to not have him. But, you know, Coach [Luke] Gets[y] and the offense, we prepare all those guys the same. Whether it’s Nate [Peterman] or Trev or whoever it is, we’re all prepared to roll. Justin’s always ready to roll too.”