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Justin Fields injury update: No timetable for return to Bears after dislocating thumb

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
October 16, 2023

LAKE FOREST — Mondays during the course of the NFL regular season start to become a blur with the Bears.

Matt Eberflus and two players address the media and usually do so after losing in a disappointing fashion the day before.

Here are the top takeaways from Eberflus, Jaylon Johnson and D’Onta Foreman after the Bears lost to the Vikings 19-13 at Soldier Field to drop the team to 1-5 on the season.

Injury Updates: No timetable for Justin Fields’ return

Eberflus started his press conference by announcing that Justin Fields dislocated his thumb in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings.

“X-rays were negative,” Eberflus said. “We did the MRI today. There’s no timetable right now and it’s really going to come down to grip strength. There’s natural swelling that occurs with this injury. We really should know more at the end of the week.”

With the injury on Fields’ throwing hand, the third-year quarterback is doubtful to play this Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders at Soldier Field.

Eberflus was asked if surgery was needed, but the Bears’ coach did not answer and said, “At the end of the week we’ll know more.”

The Bears’ coach also highlighted he doesn’t have all the information yet “because it’s not there.” So the team wants to give it time to see where things will go.

If Fields does have to miss some time, the coaching staff feels confident in rookie Tyson Bagent because of what he has already done to put himself in position to be the No. 2 quarterback.

“Just what he showed during training camp,” Eberflus said. “What he has shown to this point. His work habits, his functional intelligence on the football field, his acumen in the classroom being able to operate is very high. He’s able to chunk a bunch of information together and simplify in his mind to understand concepts. I think his release is really quick. I like that. I like how he sees the field. He’s very patient, very poised in there and it’s a good opportunity for Tyson.”

Eberflus also mentioned that Nate Davis will be out against the Raiders due to a high ankle sprain he sustained in the first quarter. It will be a week-to-week injury for Davis.

Eberflus was also asked about Braxton Jones. At the time there is no update with the Bears’ left tackle.

Rookie cornerback Terell Smith has been dealing with mono, and Eberflus said he will be out three to four weeks with the illness.

Phil Snow hired as senior defensive analyst

The Bears have hired Phil Snow to fill the senior defensive analyst position. Snow was the Panther defensive coordinator from 2020-22 before he was fired shortly after Carolina fired coach Matt Rhule.

Snow has over 40 years of total experience in college and in the NFL and has been a defensive coordinator at both levels.

“What he will be doing is our advance scouting,” Eberflus said. “Along with the personnel department, they do the personnel side of it, obviously giving us updates on personnel, on tendencies and all those things. He’ll be doing advanced scouting for our defensive staff. He’ll be giving us summaries of all the situations during the course of the week.”

Snow will be at Halas Hall throughout the week and provide the Bears staff with reports. He will not be at the games, but will serve as an analyst for the advance scouting.

Defense trending in right direction

The Bears’ defense held the Vikings to 19 points — making it the lowest point total Chicago has allowed all season. One of the Vikings’ touchdowns also came off a Tyson Bagent fumble that was returned for a score.

Eberflus’ defense also held Minnesota to just 2 of 13 on third down, easily the best the unit has done.

Veteran cornerback Jaylon Johnson returned for his first game since Week 3 on Sunday against the Vikings. Johnson could feel the difference in the defense.

“Honestly it felt good,” Johnson said. “I felt like we played dominating football outside of that two minute before the halftime. Other than that, I feel like we dominated the game. Of course we wanted more turnovers, but I thought overall we dominated. I think what did they have, 130-some yards passing? So different things like that were a good step in the right direction. So we’ve just got to keep building, keep finding ways to come together, stick together, to be aggressive, go out there and have energy and let our execution drive our energy and just continue to keep that juice throughout the duration of the game.”

Foreman on Bagent

If anyone knows what it’s like to fill in for an injured teammate, it’s Foreman.

He has plenty of experience taking over as the lead back when starters have gone down in his six-year career.

Bagent did that on Sunday against the Vikings, and Foreman liked what he saw from the young quarterback.

“We gotta be better on offense as a unit,” Foreman said. “But as far as him in the huddle, I think he commanded the huddle really well. We’ve seen his poise and his presence through training camp, preseason and then even at practice, running the scout team and stuff. I don’t think he showed anybody anything different than what we expected him to be. If he does get the chance to go out there and start I think everybody will rally behind him, I think he’ll handle the moment, and himself, well.”

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