The Chicago Bears are reportedly optimistic that quarterback Justin Fields can play on Sunday against the Jets despite suffering a left shoulder injury late in Chicago’s loss in Atlanta this past Sunday.
Ian Rapoport said it in an interview with Rich Eisen – here’s the money quote.
“I would say he’s hurt, but his status is TBA. It’s a real injury. It’s something I think is really painful. It is a left shoulder injury, so we have seen quarterbacks sustain left shoulder injuries and play. There’s been some history of this, so I would say his status is TBA. The team feels optimistic on him playing, so that at least is a good sign. But you don’t really know until you get through a couple of days and see how he responds.”
Well, this is somewhat of a surprise.
Our early obsessing over Fields injury watch has had the shoulder injury as a day-to-day issue, something that could knock him out for the rest of the year, to now something the team reportedly believes Fields could play through. And as Rapoport points out in the interview with Eisen, there are recent examples of quarterbacks playing through non-shoulder injuries. Heck, we saw Mitchell Trubisky do it a few years ago.
But it is also worth pointing out that each quarterback is different. Both in terms of pain threshold and functionality while playing through injury. For example, Tom Brady playing his game firing quick balls from the pocket through a left shoulder injury is vastly different than Fields playing through a similar injury because his game in which he uses his mobility to get things done. In other words, Fields is at a higher risk of getting hit than Brady. Therefore, we shouldn’t treat any two quarterbacks dealing with the same injury the same solely because of the injury. The Bears better think this through.
On the one hand, I feel as if Fields should play if he is healthy enough to do so. There are still valuable reps (practice, gameday, mental, phyiscal) Fields can take between now and the end of the regular season. But I’m also at a point where I don’t think Fields has much more to prove in this particular season. Therefore, there is no reason to push Fields to play if he is less than 100 percent.