LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears and Justin Fields appear to have avoided the worst-case scenario regarding the quarterback's dislocated right thumb.
Head coach Matt Eberflus announced Friday that Fields is making progress from the injury suffered in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
"He's improving. Mobility is getting better, swelling going down. Grip strength is better," Eberflus said Friday. "He's trending in the right direction. He'll be week-to-week. We'll know more on Monday."
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
At the moment, Eberflus noted that the Bears are not looking at Fields' injury as a situation that will require an injured reserve stint or surgery.
"We are not on that path right now. We are trending in the right direction," Eberflus said."
Eberflus said Fields has not tried to throw this week because his grip strength isn't there. How the grip strength progresses will determine when the third-year quarterback can return.
When Fields returns to Halas Hall on Monday, the Bears will want to see the swelling continue going down and the grip strength returning. When Fields can grip the ball, the Bears will look at the velocity and the spin of the throws to gauge where the quarterback is in his return.
Fields dislocated the thumb on his throwing hand during the third quarter of the Bears' 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Fields wanted to return to the game but could not grip the football.
Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent finished the game against Minnesota and will make his first career NFL start Sunday when the Bears host the Las Vegas Raiders at Soldier Field.
Bagent went undrafted out of Division II Shepherd University, where he set the NCAA's all-time career touchdown pass record with 159. Bagent joined the Bears during rookie minicamp and slowly worked his way up the depth chart during training camp.
Bagent was a mixed bag during his NFL debut against the Vikings, but the Bears are confident he can operate the offense against a surprisingly stingy Raiders defense.
"I know the guys have a lot of confidence in him," Eberflus said. "He’s a very confident guy. And again, he’s got good arm talent. He’s got good. Poise and pocket presence and we’re excited to see where it goes."
Where it goes after Sunday will depend on how quickly Fields can heal. Until then, Tyson Bagent has the ship.