Is Justin Fields 2022 season over for the Chicago Bears?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

On the final drive of the game vs the Falcons, Justin Fields took a hit trying to get out of bounds and landed hard on his left shoulder. The play not only cost the Chicago Bears a time-out in order to keep him in the game, but it may have cost them their quarterback. Justin Fields clearly runs the football more than many other quarterbacks in the league. However, he’s not seeing the same type of protection from the league. What’s crazy is that it used to be worse for him.

It was determined that Justin Fields dislocated his shoulder vs the Falcons. An injury that is not only painful but not one you can just recover from in a week. In his press conference yesterday, Matt Eberflus declared Fields day-to-day. I think it’s safe to assume he’s just not wanting the New York Jets to know for sure that Fields isn’t playing. Eberflus seems like that style of a coach with how he addresses injuries.

Justin Fields could be done for the Chicago Bears in 2022

Later, Eberflus was pushed by reporters on the matter and one beat reporter even spoke to the fact that he was led to believe this type of injury would be season-ending with or without surgery. Eberflus didn’t budge and said that they are still working with the medical staff and they hope to have a clearer picture after Wednesday. If I’m the Jets, I’m preparing for Trevor Siemian.

The bigger question comes from beyond this week though. Will Fields be done for the year or only a few games? The team has a bye week ahead still and maybe if they rest him until then his shoulder will be good enough to return to action. If not, then do you put him on injured reserve and ride out the year with Siemian knowing you’ll have a legit shot at the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Other questions exist too, though. Does shutting Fields down for the year stunt his growth and development? He was coming into his own over the last few weeks and you have to wonder if he will start out slow in 2023 should he not finish out the year. Personally, I think he will be just fine should they decide to sit him. Long-term, it’s the best move too because it allows his body to recover properly.

A quick Google search shows us that Fields should be in a sling for a few days and it can take 12 to 16 weeks to completely heal without surgery. He should be able to return to normal activities in two weeks but must avoid sports with shoulder movements for six weeks to three months. Now, sports medicine has advanced, and I’m sure his recovery time will not take nearly as long. Plus, he won’t have to use his left shoulder much.

We’ve seen guys use harnesses before. Just look at Mitch Trubisky. His injury kept him out for only a few weeks in 2019. If I had to guess, they keep Fields off of injured reserve just to play the “he’s week-to-week game” to get that “competitive edge” Matt Eberflus seems to think is there. At 3-8 and with no playoff hopes, what’s the point? Justin Fields is the closest thing to a franchise quarterback the Chicago Bears have seen in today’s era. It doesn’t make sense for him to waste another snap in 2022.