Justin Fields has cracked ribs, return for Chicago Bears unknown

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

If you are like most Chicago Bears fans, the only reason you are watching any of these late-season Bears games is to watch the hopeful growth and development of Justin Fields. Justin Fields was drafted 11th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bears traded up from 20 to 11 with the New York Giants to lock in who they believe is the quarterback of their future.

It has been a very rough start to Fields’ career though. Justin Fields stats on their own look absolutely awful. His record as the starting quarterback is 2-6. He has completed only 58.1% of his passes while throwing only four touchdowns to eight interceptions. If you were to look at this without watching the actual games, you’d think that Fields is going to be a complete bust in the NFL.

Luckily for us, we do watch the games and well, there should be context involved here. One, two of these interceptions came on what should have been “free plays”. The first was when the defense jumped offsides on one play (Packers game) and the second was when Justin Fields was told there were 12 men on the field (Bucs game).

These may sound like excuses, but it leads to the fact that stats do not tell the entire story. Justin Fields has also taken plenty of sacks. The team has allowed the most in the league with 36. Some of these are due to bad offensive line play — alright, probably the majority. Others are due to Justin Fields holding onto the ball too long.

As a rookie, that is expected, but it doesn’t help that his line cannot block and his receivers cannot separate. Allen Robinson is tied for the second-worst receiver in the league when it comes to separation. As a team, they rank dead last in being “open”:

Justin Fields has cracked ribs, return for Chicago Bears is unknown

Fields was starting to show some serious growth though. His game versus the Steelers was one of his best as a passer. He threw for 291 yards a touchdown and an interception. The interception was a blocked pass at the line of scrimmage. Fields needs to learn from those types of mistakes, but the read was correct on the play, which is what’s most important at this point since the season is a bust.

The game prior to the Steelers game was another loss — this time to the 49ers. However, Justin Fields gained 278 total yards (175 through the air and 103 ton the ground) and scored two touchdowns. To go down with an injury after throwing only 11 passes versus the Ravens was a major blow. Hopefully, this won’t set his development back.

Reports originally were that the x-rays were negative, but further testing has found that Justin Fields has several small cracks (fractures) in his ribs.

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As of right now, Justin Fields’ return is unknown, but the reports are that he should be back shortly. On a short week, it made sense for Andy Dalton to get the start today versus the Lions. However, who starts versus the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 is still up in the air.

As the season is lost from a team perspective, it is imperative that the Chicago Bears get Fields back out there. He needs these important reps to help grow and develop for 2022 — even if it’s in Matt Nagy’s awful system.