Justin Fields is moving around “pretty well,” according to coach Matt Nagy, but it’s too early to say what rookie quarterback status will be with the Chicago Bears, who started in a mini-bye weekend Friday.
Fields was inactive until Thursday came from behind, 16-14 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, on the sidelines of what Nagy confirmed were cracked ribs. Friday morning, when players were due to be free for the weekend, Nagy said he did not know the recovery time, but it is certainly possible that the selection in the first round may return and start against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 5 at Soldier Field. .
“We have some time on our side right now,” Nagy said. “Every day means something to him. I think he does a good job of keeping communication open. But we’ll have to wait and really see where his health is to the point where he can play or not play. Of course, we also do not want to risk further damage to him. ”
Internal linebacker status Roquan Smith also remains in the air after leaving the Thanksgiving game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. Free safety Eddie Jackson returned to action after missing two games – three weeks when you say goodbye – with his own hamstring injury. The team placed nickel cornerback Duke Shelley on injured reserve after pulling a thigh last week.
“The soft tissue you never know,” said Nagy, who said he hopes Smith will avoid an IR stay. “Everyone is a little different. It depends on the size and level of (pull). Everyone gets them, and they’re probably all a little different in terms of how many you’ve had in your career, how you react to them, all that. he will do everything he can to get it right. ”
Smith entered the match tied for third place in the league in tackles. The Bears used Christian Jones and the unsuccessful rookie Caleb Johnson along with Alec Ogletree after Smith went out.
“I think everyone understands and knows how I feel about Roquan and the type of football player he is,” Nagy said. “But I do not know if people really understand who he is as the leader of this team. Not only the defense, but the team in general. He is a big part of this. His true professionalism, the respect he has from his teammates, “From his coaches, it’s rare. And he’s only getting better every year, and this year is probably his best year.”
Andy Dalton completed 24 of 39 passes on 317 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the first 300-yard passing game for the offense this season and third since the start of 2020. Nagy reiterated what he has been saying all along that Fields will return to the starting quarterback role once he is healthy. The Bears will have a scaled-down training session on Monday and then start their normal preparation week on Wednesday.
Fields played a brutal shot against his ribs in the NCAA semifinals for Ohio State in January, so the Bears believe they have a tough competitor who could very well be available to face the Cardinals.
“Justin is really growing and getting better, and I think we all saw it, he has good momentssaid Nagy. “Are there places where he can get better and we can help him get better? It’s definitely a rookie year, it happens, it’s part of the development of a rookie quarterback.
“His confidence I think (Thursday) was good for Justin, and we talked about it. He sees it from a different perspective from the sidelines, and now there are things that he might be able to use yesterday’s experience for when he returns. ”
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