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Bears to discuss Fields' status for season finale

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

Bears coach Matt Eberflus revealed Monday that he plans to speak with general manager Ryan Poles about whether quarterback Justin Fields will play in Sunday's season finale against the Vikings.

"We're working on that, on everybody including Justin," Eberflus said. "We're going to visit with Ryan, the rest of the coaching staff. The entire health of the team to me where we were two weeks ago is different than where we are now. So, I think it's important that we evaluate that."

The Bears have been decimated by injuries, especially on the offensive line. Before halftime of Sunday's 41-10 loss to the Lions, they were down to their third right guard in Dieter Eiselen after Teven Jenkins (neck) and Michael Schofield III (knee) had exited the game with injuries.

Against Detroit, Fields rushed for 132 yards on 10 carries, completed 7 of 21 passes for 75 yards and was sacked seven times. While losing a fumble on one of the sacks, it appeared that the Bears quarterback absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, but no penalty was called.

More will be known about Fields' status for the season finale later in the week. The second-year pro sustained a left-shoulder injury Nov. 20 in Atlanta that forced him to sit out one game a week later against the Jets. He also suffered a foot injury late in a Dec. 24 loss to the Bills but did not miss any practice time.

"I would just say the health of our football team is important, and that ties into everybody," Eberflus said. "So again, we're going to look at everybody on our football team and making sure that we're doing what's best for the Bears."

Avoiding sacks

In each of their last two games against the Bills and Lions, the Bears have scored a touchdown on their opening possession and then failed to get back into the end zone the rest of the game.

"I just think that there's some series in there that you see that when you get behind, No. 1, let's not take sacks," Eberflus said. "Let's do a good job of getting rid of that. And that's all 11. I'm not saying that's just Justin because it's not. It's the protection, it's getting the ball out on time. And then you're staying on track. You don't want it to be second-and-17. You're getting behind the sticks there."

On the strip/sack by the Lions, it appeared that Fields had a chance to throw a deep pass to receiver Dante Pettis. The Bears were in maximum protection on the play with just two receivers in Pettis and Equanimeous St. Brown running routes. Instead, Fields scrambled forward, reaching the line of scrimmage before being stripped from behind by linebacker James Houston.

"We did think that we had a chance to throw it down the field there, but he went to tuck it there," Eberflus said. "When he still has the ball in the pocket, he has to be careful to have two hands on the ball as he's going through there. He only had one hand on the ball at that time and he got it stripped. We've got to do better there."

Improvement needed

The Bears defense struggled across the board, allowing season highs of 504 total yards and 265 rushing yards. That included five touchdown drives of 75, 75, 63, 75 and 92 yards on Detroit's first seven possessions.

"The defense needed to improve the entire day," Eberflus said. "Did not have the performance that we want. That's not indicative of what we've had the last few weeks against Green Bay and then the Bills and the Eagles. I thought we would perform better tackling-wise, just overall better." 

On the mend

Pettis was examined for a possible concussion during Sunday's game but was cleared. Suffering from blurred vision, he was taken to a Detroit hospital for tests but was released and flew home on his own (not with the team) Sunday night.