How Fields will determine if he can return to play vs. Packers


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Justin Fields thought he had a chance to play last Sunday against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Bears' second-year quarterback went through pregame tests in New Jersey and ultimately decided he wasn't healthy enough to play with his separated left shoulder.

On Wednesday, as the Bears began preparation for their Week 13 game vs. the Green Bay Packers, Fields said his left shoulder is improving.

"Just feeling better each and every day," Fields said.

The 23-year-old quarterback was limited during Wednesday's practice, where he took some first-team reps. Third-string quarterback Nathan Peterman took the remainder of the first-team reps, with Trevor Siemian sidelined with an oblique injury.

Fields won't play Sunday unless he feels he can protect himself and operate the Bears' offense without limitations.

The tests the Bears ran Fields through Sunday offer a glimpse into what the young quarterback must feel comfortable doing before being cleared.

"Yeah, it was basically just seeing how I felt throwing the ball, throwing on the run, and stuff like that," Fields said. "It really just seeing how I felt throughout warmups and stuff like that."

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Fields has to be cleared by the Bears' medical staff, the coaching staff, and himself to suit up Sunday. He went 0-for-3 on the return-to-play checklist prior to the Jets game.

With the Bears' Week 14 bye on deck, it would make sense to sit Fields again and give him three weeks to heal before the December finish.

But the bye week isn't factoring into Fields' desire to play. If he feels that he can go, he will be out there Sunday against the Packers.

"I’m going to talk to the trainers and the coaches," Fields said. "We don’t know if we’re going to make it to the bye week. We don’t even know if we’re going to make it to tomorrow. Like I said, we’re going to see how practice goes today, and just see how I feel during practice."

Fields will likely be a game-time decision Sunday against the Packers. If he clears the hurdles in front of him, he will play. After all, no one is 100 percent at this point in the season.

"I’m just going to go out there and if I feel like I can help my team win, help my team score, score points and put points on the board, then I’m going to go out there and play," Fields said.

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