Skip to main content

Report: Justin Fields Has Shoulder Dislocation

Officials seem to let late hits on Justin Fields occur with regularity but it's hard for the Bears to do anything about it when they are calling plays that put him in harm's way.

Justin Fields suffers from a left shoulder dislocation and the reason no recovery time has been set is it can vary depending upon the extent of the injury.

According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the dislocation occurred on the first play of the final Bears drive Sunday and the Bears are waiting to see what Fields' threshold for pain is.

So there was no detailed report forthcoming Monday from the team on the left shoulder injury Fields suffered while he ran on first down of the final Bears drive Sunday at Atlanta.

However, there were a couple of rather jolting statements made about Fields and the near future.

For one, Eberlus was asked if he could rule out a season-ending injury. Normally this is one bit of information Eberflus frequently has shared when a player is going to be back at some point from injured reserve or otherwise.

"We have not ruled that out at this point," Eberflus said. "We'll see where it is on Wednesday."

Trevor Siemian would be the starter without Fields available.

Pressed on it, Eberflus added: "We'll find out Wednesday. We'll see where it is. We'll see how he's feeling, how he's doing and it's a day-to-day proposition right now."

Then Eberflus was asked if it might be good just to rest Fields due to the cumulative effect of all the hits he has been taking since the team decided he was not just a quarterback but a running back/quarterback in Week 6.

"Yeah, I think that's a good point," Eberflus said. "Certainly, all those things have to be looked at. When you're looking at injury for any player, what are the long-term effects of that and then where is it? Where exactly is it?

"Is it something that we can play through or is it something that we can have rest? With any player, we take equation into those two things."

It seems rather late in the equation to worry about such things considering Fields was let loose upon defenses as a rushing weapon in full six weeks ago. He ran it a career-high 18 times Sunday and had 85 yards as Atlanta executed a good plan for bottling him up and avoiding huge gains on running plays like Fields made against Miami and Detroit in losses.

Either way, it doesn't sound good for Fields playing this weekend against the New York Jets and facing off against fellow 2021 draft class quarterback Zach Wilson.

The only three Bears wins this season came when Fields faced a team with a 2021 draft class QB starting against him: Mac Jones (New England), Trey Lance (San Francisco) and Davis Mills (Houston).

Fields actually played two downs with his shoulder the way it was after the game, when he had it X-rayed. He took a hit on the right side as he slid on second down, then threw a game-interception deciding interception on third down. It seems rather careless to let Fields run after he had been injured enough that the Bears had to use a timeout to keep from having him leave the field for a play.

"That was a mistake," Eberflus said of the play call. "That was supposed to be a halfback draw. So, he was supposed to hand it off there.

"That was supposed to be D-Mo (David Montgomery) going up the middle."

The second down hit came late from Grady Jarrett, after Fields slid, but officials did not flag the Atlanta Falcons 15 yards for roughing the quarterback on the play.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

It has become a frequent occurrence for Fields to be hit sliding or well after his throw, with no penalty called. Fields last year chalked it up to his lack of experience and officials favoring veterans, but it appears to be more than that as it continues to happen.

It's almost as though officials have decided a quarterback who runs more is allowed to be hit even after plays are dead.

"I mean, we've just got to do a good job," Eberflus said. "I think we've got to look at it. I think that we've got to protect these quarterbacks and that's including our quarterback. We have to do a better job in the league, the total league has to do a good job of that.

"Again, these guys are special. All these quarterbacks are special. We've got to do a great job of protecting them when they are on the sideline and when they are in the open field."

Eberflus steered clear of saying Fields is being treated different than other quarterbacks in the league.

"Like I said, we've just got to make sure that we stay out of harm's way and do a good job sliding when you're supposed to slide and working yourself out of bounds," he said.

Bears teammates are not exactly in lock step with their coach on this one. They've seen opponents take pot shots at Fields all year without a flag and on the other side they bat an eyelash at the opposing QB and get 15 yards.

Asked what he thought about Fields getting hit while opposing QBs are protected, Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones nearly got emotional.

"Man, that's tough, man," Jones said. "We're not supposed to say anything about it, you know?

"But it's tough, bro. It's tough. I … it's just tough."

Running back David Montgomery called it almost inspirational to see Fields absorb hits.

"You see him kind of take hits like, I look at it like, those are the kind of hits I take," Montgomery said. "You know, I know how I feel after that.

"So to see him taking it and he gets up and just keeps striking it is impressive to see from my standpoint."

While Eberflus did not want to engage in talk about the officials treating Fields differently, he did seem willing to acknowledge it's on the Bears to use Fields in a way that lets him stay healthy. However, he also seemed to put some of the blame on Fields.

"You got to balance that," Eberflus said. "And I've said that since we started this, since that New England game, you got to be smart about what you're doing.

"I'm still saying the same thing. You got to be smart. You got to stay out of harm's way. And we're constantly talking to him about that, because he is an aggressive guy, and he's strong and all those things, but he is our quarterback. We got to make sure that he does get to the sideline and works himself out, and when he is on the middle part of the field, slide. He did a pretty good job of that yesterday, but he was in harm's way a couple times."

And now, until the Bears tell us otherwise, no one can rule out the fact Fields is done for the year because such dislocations could easily take four to six weeks to heal. And the Bears have seven weeks to go.


Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven