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Fields dealing with pain, still hopes to play

Bears quarterback Justin Fields
Bears quarterback Justin Fields

After feeling pain in his injured left shoulder during a walkthrough at Halas Hall, Justin Fields told reporters that he probably wouldn't have been able to play if the Bears had a game Wednesday.

But the second-year quarterback hopes to improve enough to be able to play in Sunday's road game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

"Today, probably not," Fields said. "But good thing we don't play today. We play in four days. So we'll see how it feels in four days."

Fields told reporters that the injury he sustained on the first play of the Bears' final drive last Sunday against the Falcons was a "separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments, basically like an AC joint."

Fields said that he's "been getting a lot of treatment and just trying to get this shoulder right." He revealed that it feels better than it did Sunday but that he felt considerable pain while throwing and handing off Wednesday in practice. 

"The pain is pretty high today just with throwing and stuff like that, finishing throws, just the pain with that," Fields said. "I'm just going to work throughout the week to get that motion down, try to get that pain down a little bit and see what happens Friday night, Saturday. See how it goes.

"Some movements that I do with my arm hurts it a good bit. Like I said, [I'm] just trying to work through those motions and kind of get my arm used to moving in those particular motions that hurt so it's used to moving that way and gets the muscle stronger." 

Fields will play a major role in determining whether he plays Sunday against the Jets.

"Coach 'Flus' (Matt Eberflus) pretty much said it was up to me," Fields said. "They want the best thing for me. So he said if I feel that I can play, if I feel that I can go out there and protect myself and stuff like that, then I'll be able to go. I'm just going to see how it feels each and every day and play it by ear."

Fields has started the first 11 games of the season. He ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing with 834 yards and seven touchdowns on 122 carries and has thrown for 1,642 yards with 13 TDs, eight interceptions and an 86.2 passer rating. In the last five games he has accounted for 15 touchdowns; he has rushed for 552 yards and six TDs on 68 carries and completed 73 of 123 passes for 773 yards with nine TDs, three interceptions and a 92.0 passer rating.

Last Sunday after the Bears offense failed to produce the tying or go-ahead points on its final drive in a one-score loss for the third straight week, Fields apologized to his teammates.

"I was getting my shoulder checked out and before I went to go get the X-ray, I just wanted to talk to the team," Fields said. "I mean it was 27-24, the defense held them to a field goal, so they gave us that [opportunity]. Of course, any time we have that opportunity to either go tie the game or even go win the game for the team, we want to do that. So I apologized to those guys, especially for that game-ending pick.

"I felt like they did their job in terms of holding them to a field goal. It's not like they gave up a touchdown so we needed to then score a touchdown. They did their job of holding them to a field goal and all the offense needed to do was go get points and we didn't do that. We just have to get better in those situations and keep going."

Fields revealed that his apology was interrupted by veteran safety Eddie Jackson, who said: 'The game is not won or lost with one play. We all have to be better."

"After that we just kind of just broke it down as a team and we went on about our business," Fields said. "I play pretty much for those guys in the locker room. I see how much work they put in each and every day. So just having them as my teammates, having the leaders we do have on this team, be there for everybody and lead like they do, I think it's a big example of how our team is and how we're built and what our culture is here."