Justin Fields 'day-to-day,' but Bears haven't ruled out season-ending injury

Fields is 'day-to-day,' but season-ending injury not ruled out originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Justin Fields was in obvious pain when he left Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday following the Bears' 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears' second-year quarterback suffered a left shoulder injury on the first play of Chicago's final drive.

On Monday, head coach Matt Eberflus offered the expected vague update on the status of the 23-year-old signal-caller. Such is the Motus Operandi for the 3-8 Bears and their coach, who is obsessed with finding a "competitive advantage."

"Right now, it’s day-to-day," Eberflus said. "We’ll see where he is on Wednesday. So we’ve got time, we’ll see where it is and good from there."

Fields went for further medical evaluation following the loss to the Falcons. He said he was in pain and wasn't sure if he would be able to play in Week 12 when the Bears travel to New York to face the Jets.

While Eberflus listed Fields as day-to-day, the Bears left the door open for worse news to come later this week.

"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."

Eberflus and the Bears have been cagey about injuries all year, preaching competitive advantage as a reason to be purposefully opaque.

It seems like a misstep to say your quarterback is "day-to-day," but that a season-ending designation remains a possibility, all for the purpose of hurting the Jets' preparation this week.

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The Bears ran Fields a lot over the past month, which has been the fuel for their offensive explosion. But teams adjust in the NFL, and the Falcons were ready for the quarterback-designed runs. Fields took several big shots Sunday, including one on the play after he injured his left shoulder when the Bears incorrectly ran a quarterback draw.

"That was a mistake," Eberflus said of the play on which Fields took a massive hit after suffering the injury. "That was supposed to be a halfback draw. So, he was supposed to hand it off there. That was supposed to be [David Montgomery] going up the middle."

Fields was clearly favoring his left arm Sunday following the loss. He said the injury will impact his ability to throw, making it seem unlikely that he will play Sunday vs. the Jets.

Given the Bears' 3-8 record, it would be unwise to trot Fields out there Sunday with a severely injured non-throwing shoulder. His long-term health is vastly more important than a meaningless Week 12 game during the first year of a rebuild.

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