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Bears QB Justin Fields expected to return against the Lions

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
November 15, 2023

Justin Fields is expected to return against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after missing the last four games due to a right dislocated thumb.

Sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport early Wednesday morning. Fields is expected to start, “assuming today’s practice goes well.” Rapoport also mentioned that regaining “grip strength” was key for Fields.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus also announced during his Wednesday morning press conference that the plan is to start Fields on Sunday against the Lions. Eberflus said that Wednesday’s practice will be a big part of the evaluation, but Fields “is progressing well.”

Fields’ last regular season snap was on Oct. 15 against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter. The Bears’ quarterback dislocated his right thumb after he moved outside of the pocket on a third-and-7 play and was sacked by Danielle Hunter.

Before the injury, Fields completed 100 of his 162 pass attempts for 1,201 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also had 47 rush attempts for 237 yards and a touchdown.

With Fields out the last month, undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent went 2-2 as a starter — securing victories over the Raiders and Panthers.

Only seven games remain in the 2023 regular season, and four of those matchups will be against NFC North opponents.

  • Week 11 @ Detroit
  • Week 12 @ Minnesota
  • Week 14 vs. Detroit
  • Week 15 @ Cleveland
  • Week 16 vs. Arizona
  • Week 17 vs. Atlanta
  • Week 18 @ Green Bay

So, this will be an important stretch for Fields to make a case to general manager Ryan Poles and the rest of this Bears organization that he should still be the franchise quarterback moving forward. The Bears currently hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft (from the trade with the Carolina Panthers).

And it starts this Sunday against the Lions at Ford Field.

The last time the Bears traveled to Detroit, Chicago was blown out 41-10 in the Week 17 matchup in 2022. That ended up being Fields’ last game of the season, and he finished 7 of 21 for 75 yards and threw a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 132 yards on 10 attempts.

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