LAKE FOREST – After the Bears offense scored a touchdown in Friday’s practice, the unit huddled up and simply waited to hear the next play.
Justin Fields looked at his teammates and asked a question.
“He came in the huddle today and said, “What’s wrong with y’all? Everybody was confused like we did something wrong,” Velus Jones Jr. said. “He’s like, ‘nobody is excited. Celebrating. Jumping around.’ Then everybody is like, “oh, I got you.” Everybody feeds off his energy and what he brings to the table. You know he has a bright soul, bright spirit. He definitely motivates us and to see somebody fight through injury like that it just makes you want to run through a brick wall for the guy.”
The Bears were missing the optimistic, upbeat attitude that Fields embodies in their 31-10 loss to the Jets. But now that energy is back inside the walls of Halas Hall as Fields is expected to make his return this Sunday at Soldier Field against the Green Bay Packers.
On Friday’s injury report, Fields wasn’t listed with an injury designation and this comes after being a full participant in Thursday’s practice. For coach Matt Ebeflus, he understands the impact that Fields brings to his team
“Yeah, it’s great;” Eberflus said. “Obviously, when you get your starting quarterback back, a guy that’s electric like that and makes a lot of plays for our football team, it’s obviously a big boost in the arm to the whole football team. And guys are excited out there, not only on the offensive guys, but the defense and special teams, everybody’s excited that he’s out there moving around and being himself. And certainly missed him last week. So, yeah, exciting.”
Jones never doubted that Fields would return and credits the quarterback’s overall “mindset and the way he carries himself.” Now, Fields has an opportunity to help the Bears get their first win over the Packers and Aaron Rodgers since 2018.
Back in July, Fields told Bears All Access that one of his goals was to beat the Packers. So far, Fields is 0 for 3. In the Week 2 matchup in September, Fields only threw 11 passes in the 27-10 loss.
But the second-year quarterback has shown major progress since that game, especially with his ability to attack an opposing defense on the ground. In the Packers’ 40-33 loss to the Eagles last Sunday, Green Bay gave up 363 rushing yards. Even with Fields missing one game, he is still No. 7 in the league in rushing yards with 834.
Even though the Bears are 3-8 on the season, Fields has brought life back to the team. And that is exactly what was needed for Chicago heading into Sunday’s matchup with Green Bay.
“When you get a quarterback that is tough, that performs well, that’s always a big boost in the arm for our whole football team,” Eberflus said. “I think that going through the, you look at the league, it’s that way. The team rises up with the quarterback. When he performs well, you rise up. I think that’s just the nature of the position.”