More bothersome than the outcome, however, was the potential injury to the left shoulder of Bears quarterback Justin Fields. The second-year QB was sacked four times, and as the fourth quarter progressed, Fields looked increasingly hobbled.
Per Adam Jahns of The Athletic, Fields immediately walked off the field after the game was over, clutching his left shoulder, avoiding the usual postgame handshakes. Jahns also shared a concerning video of Fields riding through the tunnels on a medical cart while clutching his left shoulder area.
Justin Fields May Have ‘Left AC Joint Sprain’
Doctor David J. Chao, who is incredibly accurate at predicting the extent of a player’s injuries by watching video, thinks Fields may have sprained his left acromioclavicular (AC) joint. Chao doesn’t think Fields broke any bones, which is a good sign, but the Bears QB may wind up missing his first game of the season Week 12 — unless he plays through what could be a painful injury.
Physical therapist Mason West agrees with Chao’s assessment of an AC joint sprain, and recommends Fields rest a bit in order to let it heal. If Fields sits, backup Trevor Siemian would get the call.
In the loss to Atlanta, Fields completed 14 passes on 21 attempts for 153 yards, a touchdown and an interception, also rushing for 85 yards and a score. It was the third straight game Fields has led the team in rushing.
After the game, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed Fields was being evaluated for a left shoulder injury. It remains to be seen how serious it is, but the young signal-caller was clearly fatigued and in pain at game’s end.
Fields Said After the Game He’s Hurting ‘Pretty Bad’
With the Bears down by a touchdown and less than two minutes remaining to go in the game, Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy called Fields’ number on back-to-back running plays, which baffled Twitter entirely.
Jahns also reported that Fields said after the game he injured his shoulder on the first play of Chicago’s final drive. Per Jahns, Fields noted the pain he was experiencing was “pretty bad.”
In addition to injuring his shoulder, the second-year quarterback was dealing with cramping in his hamstrings and was given an IV after the game, per Patrick Finley of The Chicago Sun-Times.
Fields scored his seventh rushing touchdown of the year against the Falcons, tying him with Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles for most rushing TDs in the league by a quarterback. It was the fifth game in a row Fields rushed for a score, a streak that may now be in jeopardy.
We should know more about Fields’ injury by mid-week, but he has done enough to show the team he’s their QB of the future. If he’s still hurting Week 12, the Bears should absolutely rest him. If he plays while hurt and makes the injury worse or acquires another ailment on top of it, it’ll only hurt the team — and its young QB — even more.