The Chicago Bears quarterback apparently sustained the injury during Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons and played through it. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus declined to elaborate on the injury early Monday, but noted that Fields was considered day-to-day. The injury is to his non-throwing shoulder.
Fields' pain was apparent on Sunday. He was seen clutching his injured shoulder on multiple occasions, and he left the game on a cart after throwing an interception on Chicago's final possession.
Bears QB Justin Fields carted off for further evaluation after the game. He’s still holding his left shoulder. pic.twitter.com/UOUfGL27LT
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) November 20, 2022
He told reporters postgame that he'd undergone testing on the shoulder and acknowledged that "the pain right now is pretty bad."
Any missed time or lingering limitations will dampen what's been a breakout season for the second-year quarterback. After throwing for seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a rookie, Fields has tallied 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions while averaging 149.3 yards passing yards per game in 2022. He's been the NFL's most prolific rushing quarterback while posting 834 yards and seven touchdowns on 6.8 yards per carry as the NFL's fifth-leading rusher.
While his breakout has led to an improved Bears offense, his playing style has resulted in significant physical punishment. Fields subjects himself to tackles every time he tucks the ball and runs. Meanwhile, he leads the league in sacks taken with 40 for a loss of 238 yards.
While Fields' continued development is a priority, his long-term health is a bigger one. The Bears have little to play for with a 3-8 record. Don't expect them to rush him back to the field until he's physically ready to play.