‘Soldier' Fields ‘looked like himself' in return to full practice


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jaylon Johnson has always known what quarterback Justin Fields is all about. So, of course, the Bears' star cornerback isn't fazed by the idea that the 23-year-old quarterback looks to be trending toward playing Sunday against the Green Bay Packers despite dealing with a separated left shoulder.

“For me, it’s no surprise," Johnson said Thursday. "I feel like he’s a soldier. I feel like he’s going to be out there whenever he can. I feel like he feels good enough to be out there, he looks good at practice and being back to himself. I look forward to him at [Aaron Rodgers] going at it.”

Fields separated his left shoulder on the first play of the Bears' final drive of their Week 11 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The second-year signal-caller was inactive for Week 12 but returned to practice in full Thursday. If Fields practices in full again Friday, it's almost certain he'll play Sunday.

The Bears aren't surprised by Fields' toughness. But that doesn't mean it goes unnoticed in the Bears' locker room.

"I'm seeing the type of resilience you don't get from every quarterback, you know?" wide receiver Chase Claypool said Wednesday. "He is getting beat up and he's bouncing back on his feet every single time. I think that just shows the kind of leader he is because he wants to see his team win and do well and he knows he's a big part of that."

Fields' toughness resonates with his teammates. It's part of the quarterback leadership badge, which Fields wears proudly.

Following the Bears' Week 11 loss to the Falcons, Fields attempted to apologize to the defense for not finishing off the game-winning drive on which he separated his shoulder. Safety Eddie Jackson stopped the quarterback before he could get started.

It was an unnecessary move from Fields but one that shined a light on the man tasked with being the centerpiece of the Bears' rebuild.

"He takes a lot of accountability for this team's success," Johnson told NBC Sports Chicago before Week 12. "We know who he is. What he’s about it. It’s really no surprise to us. He’s always been that guy, that leader, somebody to take accountability, been somebody to lead this team and to take everything on.

"He never backs down. He hasn’t batted an eye at anything. He’s always first in line for whatever it is. Really he’s our leader. It just speaks to who he is as our leader. He just keeps showing up.”

Based on what the Bears saw Thursday in practice, all signs seem to be pointing to Fields getting the all-go to face the Packers.

"He looked like Justin," running back David Montgomery said.

"He looked like him," quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko echoed.

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