The rookie QB left the game in the third quarter with a rib injury and did not return. Veteran Andy Dalton stepped in, almost leading the team to a comeback win in the final minutes, but the primary concern was the health of Chicago’s future franchise quarterback.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy wouldn’t say much about Fields’ injury after the game, but multiple reports, including one by insider Ian Rapoport, revealed the rookie suffered bruised — not broken — ribs. Fields confirmed this news himself on his friend Simeon Kelly‘s Instagram story:
According to a report by NFL insider Jay Glazer said on FOX NFL Sunday that Fields also had his spleen checked, which would have required emergency surgery, but the team has yet to confirm or deny that report.
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Fields Having More Tests, Likely Avoided Serious Injury
Fields was injured on a scramble on the first drive of the third quarter, and all indications are that he avoided serious injury. Broken ribs would likely have kept Fields out 4-8 weeks — potentially the rest of the season.
Dr.David Chao, an orthopedic surgeon and frequent diagnoser of player injuries utilizing video alone, says that Fields was fortunate he was the hit harder and called the quarterback’s chances of playing in Chicago’s Week 12 matchup against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving day “iffy.”
Orthopedist Dr. Matt Provencher took it a step farther, suggesting Fields could be impacted by the injury for the remainder of the season.
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Bears Will Likely Start Andy Dalton on Thanksgiving
Considering the team is on a short week, all signs point to Dalton taking over for Fields in Thanksgiving. Dalton looked inconsistent in relief of Fields, completing 11 of 23 passes for 201 yards and two scores. He hit on a few plays but didn’t inspire much confidence other than that.
“I’ve been through a lot. There’s a lot that’s gone on from starting the year to the injury to not playing, and it’s one of those things—I lean on my faith,” Dalton said on November 22 about his trajectory with the Bears this season, adding:
“I knew that God had me here in Chicago for a reason. Football is part of it. There’s more to it. Being the good teammate, being a guy in the locker room that guys can lean on and staying ready for the next opportunity. And that’s, I feel like, what I’ve done. Like I said, leaning on my faith, knowing that the position I’m in is important regardless of if you’re playing or you’re not, so that’s what I’ve been leaning on.”
We’ll see what further tests reveal about Fields’ injury, but it’s looking like we’re back to the Andy Dalton Show, at least for a week.
UPDATE: Matt Nagy told the media Monday morning that he couldn’t rule out broken ribs, and that the team was waiting for further tests, but the outlooks so far is good for Fields.