Though coach Matt Eberflus shed almost no light on Justin Fields’ injury, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said late Monday that the quarterback’s left shoulder was dislocated Sunday during the Bears’ 27-24 loss in Atlanta.
Fields was injured on a first-down run with 1:42 remaining. Eberflus burned a time-out to allow Fields to stay in the game.
As quick as Fields is during a game, the noncommittal Eberflus was quick to try and dodge questions about his QB Monday at Halas Hall.
Q: Could it be a season-ending injury?
A: “We haven’t ruled that out at this point,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see where it is on Wednesday.”
Q: How is Fields? is he in pain
A: “I think you can ask him what time he comes up here on Wednesday or whatever day he comes up here this week,” Eberflus said.
Q: Why withhold this information? Will knowing if Fields is in or out really give the Jets a huge advantage?
A: “Just not knowing,” Eberflus said, not really answering that question. “We’ll see where it goes. Again, it’s day to day. So we’ll see where it goes. That’s all I can really give you right now.”
Adding insult to injury:
After Justin Fields injured his shoulder, the Bears quarterback started again, this time gaining 4 yards on a run to center.
It turned out to be a halfback draw against David Montgomery. So what happened?
“Misunderstanding,” said a sober Matt Eberflus.
The worst part of the game was no flag coming after the Falcons’ Grady Jarrett shot a glider Fields in the head. It was another instance of officials screwing up a late-game call against the Bears.
“We have to protect these quarterbacks, and that includes our quarterback,” said Coach Matt Eberflus. “We have to do a better job in the league.”
Defender Justin Jones was careful not to criticize the umpires when asked about that game, saying: “Man. That’s tough man. We’re not supposed to say anything about it, you know? But it’s hard, brother. Its hard. “
Easy transition? For real?
Matt Eberflus gave his best Pinocchio impression, saying it would be “a pretty easy transition” if the Bears had to play Trevor Siemian as quarterback against the Jets on Sunday.
“Trevor is obviously a very intelligent person, a very good passer, has great offensive instincts,” said Eberflus. “He’s been here since day one. High functional intelligence. So we will look forward to this guy.”
Siemian, who played for Northwestern in college, threw 11 TD passes and just 3 interceptions in 6 games for the Saints last season. In 2016-17, he averaged 227.4 passing yards and threw 30 TDs and 24 INTs in 25 games for the Broncos.
He’s unlikely to do well, however, with a Bears offensive line struggling to get past the block and a receiving corps struggling to open up.
Throughout training camp, David Montgomery was optimistic that the Bears were in for a special season.
He stayed true to that vision after tough losses in Weeks 4, 5 and 6, and then was thrilled when the Bears beat the Patriots 33-14 in Week 7.
However, four more losses followed, making it clear that this season will not end as the running back had hoped.
Despite the setbacks – the last three totaling just under 7 points – Montgomery is doing his best to stay positive.
“Anyone who is a competitor doesn’t like to lose. It sucks,” he said. “You prepare as you see fit. You just fell short. But you are a pro.
“You still have to come here and do your job.”
Montgomery, who had 67 yards on 17 carries in a 27-24 loss in Atlanta on Sunday, isn’t thrilled with how he’s been doing his job lately. He even found a bug on his highlight-reel 32-yard touchline catch earlier in the fourth quarter.
The play began with a play-action fake to Montgomery, who said he didn’t sell the barrel well enough.
“I better play fake so we can open the boys,” Montgomery said.
Those little details matter. Winning teams do them exceptionally well. Mediocre go through the motions.
Of course, the Bears – now 3-8 and losers from seven of the last eight – aren’t even mediocre at the moment. But that doesn’t mean heads will hang when everyone returns to training on Wednesday.
“The boys here really want to win,” said defender Justin Jones. “That’s the most important part. I’ve heard stories about places where some parts of the team are going in the right direction and other parts of the team don’t want to be here.
“Everybody wants to be here, man. Everyone wants to play and win games. Of course, if we lose these games, it takes a toll. But the guys just keep pushing. The boys just keep fighting.
“That’s the kind of guys we have in the building.”
Using the numbers:
Led by Justin Fields (834), Khalil Herbert (643) and David Montgomery (501), the Bears have rushed for 2,177 yards this season. That’s the highest team total since Neal Anderson (1,078), Brad Muster (664) and Jim Harbaugh (321) helped the 1990 team put 2,436 yards on the ground.
Since 1990, only the 2005, 2011 and 2021 teams have broken the 2,000 mark.
The Bears are on track to rush for 3,364 yards, which would break the team record of 2,974 yards and break the Ravens’ 2019 NFL mark (3,296).
As for Fields, he’s now just 134 yards from Bobby Douglass’ record for most rushing yards by a Bears QB. He also needs to average 62 yards per game to break Lamar Jackson’s NFL record of 1,206.