Justin Fields

Matt Eberflus outlines three things Bears need to see before Justin Fields returns to play

Fields has steadily progressed from his dislocated thumb

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The Bears are leaving the door open for Justin Fields to return to action this Thursday against the Panthers at Soldier Field. The Bears held walkthroughs on Monday, so any practice designations are projections, but head coach Matt Eberflus said Fields was limited.

“We'll literally see where it is today and then see where it goes from there,” Eberflus said. “We’ll know more on Wednesday in terms of how that progresses.”

Eberflus said the decision to play Fields or sit him another week will come down to three factors. First, the medical staff needs to clear him to play. Then, Fields himself needs to sign off and say he can function well enough to play. Finally, the coaches need to evaluate how Fields is throwing the ball and operating to determine whether he can return or not.

“If Justin is there and is available and is functional, we will go with him.”

Fields has missed the last three games due a dislocated thumb. He suffered the injury in Week 6 against the Vikings. On the year, Fields has completed 61.7% of his passes for 1,201 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s added 47 rushes for 237 yards and one score on the ground.

If Fields can’t play, Tyson Bagent will start his fourth game in a row. Bagent has completed 67.3% of his passes for 697 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. As a rusher, Bagent has 97 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

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