Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields remained a limited participant Thursday because of the left shoulder injury he suffered in last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
While there have been few clear-cut indicators to this point as to whether Fields will be active Sunday and able to start, the team may now be leaning toward giving Fields extra time to recover and regain strength in his shoulder.
Veteran Trevor Siemian is in line to start Sunday against the New York Jets if Fields doesn’t play.
Before Thursday’s practice at Halas Hall, Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said he was not yet sure if Fields might be given the greenlight to play Sunday.
“If he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go,” Getsy said. “And if he’s not, he’s not.”
With the 3-8 Bears in last place in the NFC North and Fields showing promising signs over the last month that he has the potential to be the team’s long-term franchise quarterback, Getsy was asked whether the team’s most practical approach would be to give Fields this weekend off.
“That’s an above-my-pay-level question right there,” Getsy said. “Whatever they tell me, that’s what I rock and roll with.”
Fields revealed Wednesday that he suffered a separated left shoulder with a torn ligament when he landed awkwardly at the end of a run late in last week’s loss. The Bears probably would be wise to play things safe, putting Fields on the shelf for this weekend and reassessing his condition in Week 12. But the team has been patiently playing the “wait-and-see” game this week, clearing Fields to practice and evaluating how he looks and feels each day with an eye on giving him a chance to start against the Jets.
After Wednesday’s practice, Fields said coach Matt Eberflus was allowing him significant input in the decision.
“He said if I feel that I can play and if I feel that I can go out there and protect myself, then I’ll be able to go.” Fields said. “I’m just going to see how it feels each and every day and play it by ear.”
Siemian, who entered the league in 2015 as a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern, has made 29 career starts, the most recent in Week 12 of last season for the New Orleans Saints. Siemian has a 58.9 career completion percentage and an 81.2 passer rating with 41 touchdown passes and 27 interceptions.
“That game experience you can’t replace,” Getsy said. “That’s a good crutch we get to lean on.”
The Bears have one more practice Friday in Lake Forest before they have to officially declare Fields’ game status as questionable, doubtful or out.