Bears QB Justin Fields’ Status in Question After 2 Injuries vs. Bills

Justin Fields, Bears

Getty QB Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears looks on during the first quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields suffered a new injury and re-aggravated an old one in a loss to the Buffalo Bills on Christmas Eve Day.

Fields suffered a separated shoulder in Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons, which kept him sidelined for his team’s following contest against the New York Jets. The QB returned from that injury to start the next three outings, though he told ESPN’s Courtney Cronin that he hurt the shoulder again during the contest against the Bills Saturday. Fields also mentioned a new issue with his foot.

“Justin Fields said he can’t put full weight on his injured foot yet but feels like he’ll be good to go,” Cronin tweeted. “He also hurt his previously injured non-throwing shoulder early in the game.”

The quarterback spoke specifically to how his shoulder was feeling following the Bears’ 35-13 loss at Solider Field.

“They told me it was going to be a nagging injury all year,” Fields said, per Cronin’s report. “Just going to fight through it these last two games.”

Blustery, Cold Weather Exacerbated Fields’ Injured Shoulder Saturday

Justin Fields, Bears

GettyQB Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears runs off the field during the fourth quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Fields finished the afternoon just 15-of-23 passing for 119 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball seven times for a mere 11 yards, a far cry from the 77 yards per game he was averaging coming into the contest.

The shoulder pain and the newly-hampered foot certainly played roles in Fields’ subpar performance against the Bills, but so did frigid cold and blustery winds.

“It was crazy. It really impacted the whole game, from snaps to even tosses,” Fields said of the weather during his postgame press conference. “[It] definitely impacts the passing game with trying to figure out which way you want to throw the ball, like which way the wind is blowing. And when the gusts are up to 30-35 mph, you just wanna hopefully get the passing plays when it’s not that windy. But yeah, you just have to think about all those things when you’re, of course, calling plays and stuff like that.”

Fields’ counterpart, quarterback Josh Allen, didn’t fair much better, even though his team was more successful on the scoreboard. Allen finished the day 15-of-26 passing for 172 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushed the ball a total of six times for 41 yards and a score. He also put the football on the ground once, though Buffalo recovered that fumble.

Bears Should Consider Resting Fields For Remainder of Season

Matt Eberflus

GettyQuarterback Justin Fields (left) and head coach Matt Eberflus (right) of the Chicago Bears talk on the sidelines following the team’s final preseason game.

Fields’ attitude and effort have proven valiant all season long, as he has rejuvenated Chicago’s offense on his way to becoming just the third quarterback in league history to rush for more than 1,000 yards — and all in only his second year in the NFL.

That said, it is clearly time for head coach Matt Eberflus and the rest of the Bears organization to seriously consider sitting Fields for the remainder this season. Chicago has been officially out of playoff contention for weeks and currently holds the No. 2 spot in the upcoming NFL Draft — an incredibly valuable position considering the team could potentially trade down, pick up one (or several) extra selections, and still add a generational talent like Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter to the defense.

All continuing to play Fields does is put both his health and the Bears’ draft position in jeopardy. Chicago finishes the year with a road game against the Detroit Lions on New Year’s Day and a home contest against the Minnesota Vikings one week later.

A great way to ensure the team doesn’t win again and Fields doesn’t injure himself further is to start backup quarterback Nathan Peterman, who has a career record of 1-3, a career rating of 33.7 and a single-season QBR high of 24.3 as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.

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