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Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields will “absolutely” not be shut down for the remainder of the season despite injuries to his shoulder and foot, head coach Matt Eberflus told reporters Monday.
Fields’ status for the rest of the 2022 regular season had been uncertain since he suffered a left shoulder injury late in Chicago’s Week 11 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He suffered the foot injury in Saturday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills after getting stepped on.
Eberflus told reporters after the Falcons game that they were operating as if Fields would be “day to day,” but he didn’t rule out the possibility of shutting down his second-year quarterback for the season.
“We have not ruled that out at this point,” Eberflus said when asked if the Bears could say the injury isn’t season-ending. “We’ll see where it is on Wednesday.”
Even going into Week 12, the Bears were playing coy about Fields’ status. He was officially a game-time decision against the New York Jets after being a limited participant in practice all week.
Fields went on a dazzling run of success prior to the injury. The 23-year-old threw for 963 yards, ran for 640 yards and accounted for 16 touchdowns in a six-game span from Weeks 6-11.
The Bears scored at least 24 points in each of the final five games during that stretch. Fields set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback when he ran for 178 against the Miami Dolphins in Week 9.
Fields’ development in the second half of this season has been critical for a Chicago team that needed to see improvement from him after a rough start to his career. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 draft certainly looks like he can become a franchise quarterback.
The Bears will face the Detroit Lions on Sunday before closing out the season against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 8.