Justin Fields' shoulder injury non-factor in Packers game

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Fields' shoulder 'held up pretty good' in Packers game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

After all the debate about whether or not Justin Fields should’ve played against the Packers as he nurses a separated shoulder, and after all the hand wringing that he may worsen his injury, Fields felt fine following the Bears’ 28-19 loss in Week 13.

“Shoulder held up pretty good,” Fields said. “On (David Montgomery’s) touchdown I had to like push Kenny Clark down, so that’s the only play it got aggravated on.”

That play came in the second quarter, and Fields looked no worse for wear afterwards. But Fields admitted he did take some extra precautions in the game to protect his shoulder. To start, he wore an extra pad during the game to cover up the affected area. There was also at least one moment when he ended a play early so he wouldn’t take an unnecessary hit, namely a slide after nine yards on a 2nd-and-10 scramble on the first drive of the game. Normally we’d see Fields make a move, or lower his shoulder to get the first down, but in that moment he opted to live another down.

“Yeah I’m not about to do that, my shoulder, no sir, I’m not about to do that today,” Fields said. “If I think I can score, like on that touchdown run, then I’m going to take a chance on that, but I didn’t think I had a chance to score on that.”

Fields had mentioned his legs were starting to feel tired last month, as his increased workload carrying the ball began to take its toll. Fields entered the game with 834 rushing yards, good for seventh-most in the league, despite missing last week. That week off apparently did his legs some good, because Fields said they didn’t feel as heavy, but he did have a different complaint on his 55-yard touchdown run.

“I felt like I was moving slower than my top speed, I don’t know. I gotta check the GPS on that to see how fast I was moving.”

Fields was informed that he was clocked going over 20 mph, and his cheeky response further indicated that he’s feeling alright.

“I like to hit 21, 21.5, so I’ll have to do some extra sprints or something.”

The Bears had a plan in place to determine whether or not Fields was healthy enough to play on Sunday, putting his safety as the top priority. That plan worked, and Fields lived to tell the tale. In the end, it allowed Fields to get more valuable reps in a year dedicated to his growth, and resulted in one of his most complete games as an NFL quarterback.

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