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Justin Fields Good to Go

Calling his three broken ribs far less painful than the injured ribs and hip he had last January against Clemson while still at Ohio State, Bears quarterback Justin Fields will start against Green Bay.

Quarterback Justin Fields will make his return to the starting lineup for the Bears against Green Bay on Sunday night, with three broken ribs feeling better to the point where he believes he won't be inhibited much.

Coach Matt Nagy announced Fields has been cleared by doctors to start, and the rookie quarterback described a situation less painful than a ribs and hip injury he suffered with Ohio State last January while facing Clemson in the national semifinals.

Fields went through a full practice on Wednesday.

"Is it fully healed? Yeah," Bears coach Matt Nagy said. "I think he's at a spot right now, this comes down to for him, like I've been saying the whole time, it's a pain deal that we can't really simulate.

"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 we're at."

Fields doesn't recall when the injury actually occurred, just that it wasn't like the hit against Clemson.

"Yeah, I think January was way worse, by far," Fields said. "It's the same thing pretty much, not really that much of a difference, just not as much pain."

He estimated the hit in January required he do nothing for a month after the season, but the Bears had him on the practice field last week on a limited basis and now starting.

"For treatment, I really couldn't do much because of course it's ribs," Fields said. "They weren't misplaced so I really just had to rest and give it time to heal. It was pretty much on me."

Fields expects no rust when he faces the Packers for the second time this season.

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"Because I've been practicing," he said.

Who backs up Fields is open to guessing right now because Andy Dalton could not practice Wednesday due to the left, non-throwing hand he injured against Arizona on Sunday while starting for Fields. Nagy didn't want to reveal the nature or severity of the injury but Nick Foles could be backup for a second straight game if Dalton can't suit up.

"We just gotta see," Nagy said. "The good thing is it is non-throwing, that’s a good thing."

For Fields, playing will mean using some sort of added protection over the rib area, but he said he normally does anyway.

"Of course, I'm going to have to be smart this upcoming game with not taking as many hits as I usually do, so I'm going to be smart about that and cognizant about that, for sure," he said.

Fields had begun what the Bears called a breakthrough of sorts just before his injury, with strong efforts against Pittsburgh and San Francisco in losses before he suffered the injury and left early in the third quarter against the Ravens on Nov. 21. With Dalton playing, the beat Detroit and lost to Arizona. Now it's going to be a matter of enduring while he resumes his development process.

"I mean, yeah, there's pain there, but I mean, the pain's just not unbearable," he said. "I know there's gonna be pain there but I mean, it is what it is. You have three cracked ribs, of course there's gonna be pain.

"As long as it's just not crazy pain where I can't bear it, I'm gonna play and practice."

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