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Bears Bulletin

Bears 'still gathering the facts' on Fields' injury


Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday that the team is still evaluating the rib injury that forced rookie quarterback Justin Fields to exit Sunday's 16-13 loss to the Ravens early in the second half.

It's unknown whether Fields will be able to play Thursday when the Bears visit the Lions on Thanksgiving, especially given the quick turnaround.

"We're still gathering the facts with everything," Nagy said. "We're still getting him looked at this morning, so we'll see where that goes. And obviously we've got to be prepared for both sides of that whether he's able to go or not able to go."

Although NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter both reported, per sources, that x-rays of Fields' ribs were negative, Nagy declined to confirm that the first-round draft pick did not sustain a fracture.

"I can't rule out anything," Nagy said. "All I can say is we're waiting to get feedback today and then that's what we've got to go off of."

Fields left Sunday's game after being tackled by linebacker Tyus Bowser on the final play of the Bears' opening possession of the second half. However, it's unclear whether the rookie quarterback was injured on that play.

"I don't know if it was an exact play from talking to him," Nagy said. "I don't even know if he knows that from our discussion. I think it might have been something that he started feeling and then it was after that when he got looked at … He was in a little bit of pain. I looked at it on tape, too, just trying to see if it was an accumulation of things or if it was just one time."

The Bears did not practice Monday. But if they had, Fields would not have been able to participate, according to an injury report they had to release in advance of their Thanksgiving game against the Lions.

Asked about Fields' availability for that contest, Nagy said: "It comes down to the doctors and whatever they say and what they tell us what it is and how it is and then how you can or cannot play with that. And the other thing, too, in all this is, Justin is extremely tough and you have to know how to manage that and protect him from himself sometimes."

Fields' toughness was evident last year when he played at Ohio State. In a College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson, he suffered a hip pointer on a monster hit. Fields not only stayed in the game but threw one of six touchdown passes two plays later in an eventual 49-28 win. He then played in the championship game versus Alabama despite the painful injury.

Fields exited Sunday's game with the Bears trailing 6-0 after completing 4 of 11 passes for 79 yards with a 62.3 passer rating. He also rushed for 23 yards on four carries and lost a fumble on one of two sacks.

Replacement Andy Dalton connected on 11 of 23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns and a 107.3 passer rating. On his first two snaps, the veteran quarterback completed a 23-yard pass to Jimmy Graham and then threw a short pass on a run/pass option play to Darnell Mooney, who turned it into a 60-yard TD that gave the Bears a 7-6 lead midway through the third quarter.

After the Ravens went ahead 9-7 on Justin Tucker's 46-yard field goal, Dalton's 49-yard TD pass to Marquise Goodwin on fourth-and-11 put the Bears back on top 13-9 with just 1:41 left in the game. But the Ravens answered with a 5-play, 72-yard drive that was capped by Devonta Freeman's game-winning 3-yard TD run with :22 remaining.

If Fields is unable to play Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, Dalton would make his first start since a Week 2 win over the Bengals, while fellow veteran Nick Foles presumably would serve as the backup.

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