Friday, January 21, 2022

Justin Fields cleared to return from rib injury, will start for Bears in Week 14 vs. Packers

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The Bears are desperate for a win as they cling to life in the NFC wild-card picture, and now they’ll have a major reinforcement for their Sunday rematch with the division-leading Packers. Coach Matt Nagy told reporters Wednesday that rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who missed the team’s past two games with cracked ribs, has been medically cleared to return and will start Week 14’s “Sunday Night Football” showdown with Green Bay.

Nagy said earlier this week that the Bears are “never going to put (Fields) at risk medically,” but the first-round pick has now had more than two weeks to recover from the injury he suffered in Week 11 against the Ravens. Limited in practice last week ahead of Chicago’s loss to the Cardinals, Fields is fully expected back on the field in preparation for Sunday’s game against Green Bay.

In Fields’ absence the last two weeks, the Bears went 1-1 under veteran Andy Dalton, who opened the year under center. They narrowly defeated the previously winless Lions on Thanksgiving, then fell 33-22 to Arizona on Sunday. Dalton threw four interceptions in the defeat, which dropped the Bears to 4-8 on the season.

Fields will be making his ninth-career start Sunday when the Bears visit Lambeau Field. He also handled QB1 duties in the Bears’ previous matchup with the Packers this year, completing 59% of his passes with one touchdown and one interception in a 24-14 loss.

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