On Wednesday the Chicago Bears got some good news and some bad news on the injury front as they held their first practice at Halas Hall in preparation for their Sunday night matchup against the rival Green Bay Packers. First the good as head coach Matt Nagy revealed that rookie quarterback Justin Fields would be back as the team’s starter following a couple games off to allow his cracked ribs to heal.
Andy Dalton, who filled in at QB the last two and a half games, is now dealing with an injury of his own as he missed today’s practice with a left hand injury. Speculation is there could be a broken bone, which could mean Nick Foles slides into the Bears QB2 role.
But back to Fields, he was a full participant at practice after being limited a week ago, but he’s not just getting his job back due to Dalton’s injury, the plan was always to go back to him once he was cleared.
“Like I’ve been saying the whole time, it’s a pain deal that we can’t really simulate,” head coach Matt Nagy said earlier today. “But we know that where he’s at-we go off of what he says, we go off of what our doctors say-and when he’s fully cleared like he is, then we’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll. He’s the starter when he’s healthy, and that’s where he’s at.”
Fields has dealt with this type of injury before, but he said it was much worse when he was hurt in the college playoff game his last season at Ohio State.
He could wear some protective gear on Sunday, he’ll also need to be smart as Green Bay will most likely come after him, and the pass protection will need to keep him clean as well.
“There’s pain there, but the pain’s just not unbearable,” Fields said earlier today at Halas Hall. “I know there’s going to be pain, but it is what it is. You have three cracked ribs, of course there’s going to be pain. As long as it’s just not crazy pain where I can bear it, I’m going to play and practice.”
The NBC executives have to be fired up knowing they’ll be getting the buzz Fields brings to the broadcast, especially since the on-field match up between these two old rivals looks lopsided on paper.
Other good injury news for Chicago saw defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and wide out Allen Robinson practice (limited) for the first time in weeks, but they couldn’t escape more bad news as running back David Montgomery sat out with shoulder, groin, and glute injuries.