During the week 11 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields suffered a dislocation to his non-throwing shoulder during the Bears’ last offensive drive. The injury led to Fields throwing a game-sealing interception that gave the Bears their eighth loss. Head coach Matt Eberflus told the press that Fields’ injury was day-to-day. The good news is that Fields is not out for the season, but if he is returned before his shoulder fully heals, it could derail Fields’ progression.
The Bears’ bye week is not until week 14, allowing Fields to rest for three weeks if the coaches decide to sit him until then. It is already sure that Fields will likely miss this upcoming week against the New York Jets. Fields can come back the week after to play the Green Bay Packers, a team many Bears fans would like to see Fields beat. However, the Bears do not need to win any more games this year, as they are in a rebuilding season, and the better the draft pick, the better the player they’ll get next season. It would be in the Bears’ best interest to rest Fields because if he ends up seriously injured, their whole rebuild plan will crumble.
There have been other notable quarterbacks who have dislocated their non-throwing shoulder, those being Mitch Trubisky in 2019 and Baker Mayfield in 2021. Both quarterbacks missed at least one week while recovering from their injuries, and it’s likely Fields will as well. The Bears have yet to release their injury reports, but it is possible we won’t be seeing Fields against the Jets, which is unfortunate as many fans wanted to see Fields compete against the quarterback that was taken ahead of him in the 2021 draft.
The Bears have a tough decision to make at the end of the day. On the one hand, Fields carries the Bears team, and he is one of the only reasons the Bears have competed in the last couple of games. On the other hand, if the front office wants their rebuild to go according to their plan, then they should sit Fields and let him rest until he is 100% healthy, as his progression is the most important thing to the Bears franchise now. If that means resting Fields for the rest of the season, so be it.