Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus said Justin Fields’ throws “felt good” as the quarterback returns from dislocated his right thumb.
But whether Fields is healthy enough and ready to return Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field is something the Bears will have to monitor in practice this week.
The Bears returned to Halas Hall from their mini-bye on Monday for a short practice that included individual work in helmets, a special teams period and an offensive and defensive walk-through. Fields participated in the practice.
But Eberflus said the Bears want to see how Fields looks with a full team before determining whether he can play for the first time since Oct. 15. The Bears will hold a full practice Wednesday.
“Once we see him in a football game going up against the scout team and taking snaps and playing at full speed, we’ll make a determination,” Eberflus told reporters after practice. “But it’s not there today.”
Eberflus would not say whether Fields has been medically cleared to play. The field was not cleared for Thursday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, and rookie Tyson Baigent started his fourth consecutive game in a 16–13 Bears victory.
Eberflus said Fields practiced Monday with his thumb wrapped as he tries to get comfortable with what he throws. Fields, who was limited in the last four practices or walk-throughs since November 3, has also used a full glove on his throwing hand.
Eberflus said Fields has been “completely positive” when he told the Bears how he’s feeling.
“He will always be positive,” Eberflus said. “He is a worker. He is always optimistic about where he is and feels he is in a good place right now. So, once we complete the teamwork we will know more.”
Eberflus said he would wait until Wednesday to provide updates on other players’ injuries. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (knee), fullback Khari Blassingame (concussion) and cornerback Terrell Smith (mononucleosis) were among the players who sat out Thursday’s game.
Right guard Nate Davis, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, was seen in practice on Monday.
After weeks of turmoil on the offensive line due to injuries, the Bears have settled into a lineup of left tackle Braxton Jones, left guard Cody Whitehair, center Lucas Patrick, right guard Taven Jenkins and right tackle Darnell Wright. If the Bears wanted to keep Davis on the right side, Jenkins could move back to left guard.
“There are combinations we have to discuss,” Eberflus said. “Nate is a good player. Cody is a good player. Taven is a good player. So this is a good problem. “We will look at it and put in our best five performances for the Lions.”
(Tags to translate) Justin Fields (T) Matt Eberflus (T) Chicago Bears (T) Detroit Lions (T) Nate Davis (T) Tyson Baigent (T) Khary Blassingame (T) Tremaine Edmonds (T) Carolina Panthers ( T) Cody Whitehair (T) Lucas Patrick (T) Taven Jenkins (T) Terrell Smith (T) Braxton Jones (T) Darnell