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There are the great injury deniers out there.

These are the football followers who deny that letting Justin Fields carry the ball more like a running back exposes him to greater risk of injury.

Of course it does. It's like saying you don't risk a car accident more by driving or riding in a vehicle than you do by sitting at home. 

For some reason, this is a thing. There are people who think that 1 plus 1 does not equal 2. There are still people who think that dinosaurs never existed, too.

Of course, Fields was put at greater risk by being told to run it repeatedly and it will be this way in his career because of his speed. It's part of the reason he needs to become a better pocket passer than he currently is. 

He's not always going to be able to pass on the rollout or from out free of the pocket, especially on late-game drives. At some point, Fields must become better as a pocket passer. 

He's not going to run the ball like a mad man throughout his career the way he has earlier this season and what happens inevitably showed up in Week 11.

Without Fields, the Bears become a team without much else going on beyond looking to next year's draft, where they currently rank third in the order.

Getting Fields back gives them their best single shot at ruining where they stand for the draft, but it also lets them improve where they'll be as a team once that draft is over because Fields will be better.

He needs the experience the final weeks this season provide. He just doesn't need all the carries.  

Sports Illustrated: 20th

The Bears improved three spots in SI's ranking despite losing the game and Fields.

"The loss of Justin Fields—for any amount of time—would be a clear backbreaker for this team," Conor Orr wrote.

USA Today: 23rd

They stayed right where they had been despite the loss. 

"As much progress as QB Justin Fields has made, the league-high 40 sacks he's been exposed to were going to eventually take their toll," Nate Davis wrote. 

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Actually, it's not as much the 40 sacks he's exposed to that caused the injury but the excessive hits he takes by being exposed to pass rushers and then facing them on rushing plays, as well. Other QBs get a break from the rush when they call a running play.

ESPN: 25th 

The Bears maintained their spot despite the loss. The theme for the week was an underachieving aspect of the teams and beat writer Courtney Cronin pointed to their pass rush and how "...not a single defensive lineman has more than 2.0 sacks this season." 

CBS Sports: 30th

Pete Prisco with the very inciteful comment: "They are competing, which is a good thing." It's probably more of a ranking for the Bears without Fields than with, as they are 30th here

NBC Sports/PFT: 26th

They fell just one spot with the loss. "They can win when the league's most exciting young quarterback is healthy. How ugly will it be if he misses time?" asks Mike Florio.  23rd

They dropped from 20th. Dan Hanzus says it "could make sense to give Fields a week to recover," as a result of the relentless pass rush the Bears will face Sunday against the Jets. They will face relentless pass rush every week from every opponent considering their offensive line, so there needs to be more of a reason to hold him out, which there is.

Fox Sports: 26th

They held their position despite the loss. "It's going to be a major bummer for Justin Fields if his shoulder injury forces him out for a significant time. Not just because he's fun to watch, but because the Bears need him getting reps and growing as a passer," David Helman writes.

But it will be a bummer if he's out because he's fun to watch.

The Ringer: 30th

Dropping down from 28th, and Austin Gayle writes that the only reason they aren't in the bottom tier of their poll is because "...Justin Fields has been a sensation of late," and points out how only Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow have accounted for more offensive TDs over the last seven weeks.

The only question that leads to is if you're 30th and not in the bottom tier of the poll, what the heck kind of poll and tier is it? Not much of a poll when two teams constitutes an entire tier.

The Sporting News: 30th

Down two spots this week, and Vinnie Iyer calls Fields' shoulder "the concern" that could "...put a real damper on the reason for optimism during the rest of the season."

Yahoo Sports: 29th

They dropped one spot and Frank Schwab is the only one who fixes real blame where it should go in the Fields injury situation.

"The Justin Fields running offense was fun, but the Bears put the young quarterback at risk with reckless play calling during their 27-24 loss to the Falcons.

It was not a good play call to start a two-minute drill, especially when the quarterback's legs were cramping up all afternoon and he appeared to be running in quicksand at that point.


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