Justin Fields is expected to start for the Chicago Bears against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, according to head coach Matt Eberflus.
Fields has missed the last four games with a dislocated right thumb, an injury the quarterback sustained in the 19-13 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6.
Considering his inexperience, undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent has fared relatively well in Fields’ absence, winning two of his four starts and leading the Bears back to 3-7.
But Chicago will be pleased to get back Fields back having thrown four touchdowns in back-to-back games prior to the Minnesota defeat, returning with career highs in passer rating (91.6) and completion percentage (61.7%) during his time on the field this season.
Eberflus confirmed the intention to start Fields and revealed the 24-year-old had practiced on Wednesday, telling reporters: “Our plan is to start him on Sunday.
Coach Eberflus announced that Justin Fields is expected to return to the starting lineup Sundayhttps://t.co/Pzka6trbJi
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 15, 2023
“He continues to progress this week. Returning to practice today is going to be a big part of the evaluation.”
With seven weeks of the season left and a verdict on Fields’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract to ponder, Eberflus is keen to get the Ohio State product back on the field to give the Bears a more diverse offense.
“I think seven weeks is enough time to show consistency and being the high performer that we expect him to be,” Eberflus added. “We expect consistency out of all our positions.
“I know he’s had some good performances along this year, certainly the last few have been solid.
“You have some different options there, different movement passes that you might run that you wouldn’t run with a different quarterback in there certainly opens up your package a bit.”
The Bears have a huge three-game run coming up, with divisional clashes with the Lions either side of another NFC North meeting against the Vikings in what will prove a vital juncture of their season.