New Info Emerges on Justin Fields’ Injury & Return Timeline: Report

Justin Fields

Getty Quarterback Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears is out with cracked ribs.

It looks like Justin Fields’ rib injury is a tad more serious than we initially thought.

On November 26, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy confirmed that the rookie quarterback’s ribs were cracked. Fields, who was seen saying his ribs were bruised and not broken on an Instagram video after Chicago’s Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, had further tests that revealed his ribs had “tiny fractures, not deemed major,” as first reported by NFL insider Ian Rapoport.

“The X-Ray and CT scans were clean, but the MRI showed the additional issues. … Fields should return shortly,” Rapoport added.

But one longtime Bears analyst thinks the young signal-caller could be out for a bit longer.

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Nagy Says Fields Hasn’t Thrown Since His Injury

Veteran Andy Dalton led the Bears to a 16-14 win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, and it remains to be seen whether the Red Rifle will be needed for more relief work.

“I can confirm him having cracked ribs,” Nagy said about Fields on November 26. “But at the same point in time, he’s moving around pretty good.”

That doesn’t mean the 22-year-old QB has been too active, however, as he hasn’t thrown the football in practice since the rib injury occurred.

“There hasn’t been throwing,” Nagy added. “But that’s stuff that you’ve gotta be careful with that, right away when it happens.”

That’s true, and the Bears are wise not to rush the future of the franchise back from any type of ailment.

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Fields Could Miss December 5 Matchup vs Cardinals

The Bears next play on December 5, when Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals come to Soldier Field.

“We gotta see—we have some time on our side right now to declare as to where he’s at,” Nagy said about Fields. “Every day matters for him. I think he’s doing a good job of keeping the communication open. But we’re gonna have to wait and see truly where his health is at to the point of him being able to play or not play. We don’t wanna obviously risk more injury to him as well.”

But Sports Illustrated’s Gene Chamberlain thinks Dalton’s stint filling in for Fields “could be a while.”

“Cracked ribs is a different matter than bruised ribs and represent a longer time out of the lineup,” Chamberlain wrote on November 26. “It’s an indefinite timeline for Fields’ return either way, but cracked ribs can’t make it a shorter one.”

Regardless as to when he returns, don’t expect a quarterback controversy in Chicago anytime soon.

“When Justin is healthy he’s the starter, you know what I mean?” Nagy added. “So that keeps it pretty simple. We’ve just got to be able to manage that, what’s the definition of healthy so that he’s okay and we’re OK with him being able to play.”

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