Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus said Justin Fields’ throws “look good” as the quarterback works his way back from a dislocated right thumb. But whether Fields is healthy enough and ready to return Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field is something the Bears must monitor in practice this week.
The Bears returned to Halas Hall from their mini-bye 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 in full-team work 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 the game of football in terms of going against the scout team and taking snaps and playing full speed, then we’ll make a determination,” Eberflus told reporters Monday after practice. “But it’s not there today.”
Eberflus would not say whether Fields has been medically cleared to play. Fields was not cleared to play Thursday against the Carolina Panthers, and rookie Tyson Bagent started his fourth straight game, a 16-13 Bears victory.
Eberflus said Fields practiced with his thumb wrapped Monday as he tries out what makes him feel comfortable as he throws. Fields, who was limited in four previous practices or walk-throughs since Nov. 3, also has used a full glove on his throwing hand.
Eberflus said Fields has been “positive the entire way” when updating the Bears on how he has been feeling.
“He’s always going to be positive,” Eberflus said. “He’s a worker. He’s always optimistic with where he’s at, and he feels he’s at a good spot right now. So again, we’ll know more once we get the team work done.”
Eberflus said he would wait until Wednesday to provide injury updates on other players. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (knee), fullback Khari Blasingame (concussion) and cornerback Terell Smith (mononucleosis) were among the players to sit out Thursday’s game.
Right guard Nate Davis, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, was spotted at practice Monday.
After weeks of upheaval on the offensive line due to injuries, the Bears have settled into a lineup that includes left tackle Braxton Jones, left guard Cody Whitehair, center Lucas Patrick, right guard Teven Jenkins and right tackle Darnell Wright. Jenkins could slide back to left guard if the Bears want to put Davis in on the right side.
“The combinations there are going to be a discussion that we have to have,” Eberflus said. “Nate’s a good player. Cody’s a good player. Teven’s a good player. So it’s a good problem to have. We’ll look at it and put our best five out there for the Lions.”