Although coach Matt Eberflus shed no light on Justin Fields’ injury, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Monday night that the quarterback’s left shoulder dislocated in Sunday’s 27-24 loss. of the Bears in Atlanta.
Fields was injured on a first down with 1:42 to go. Eberflus burned a timeout so Fields could stay in the game.
As fast as Fields goes through a game, that’s how fast the uncommitted Eberflus tried to get past questions about his QB on Monday at Halas Hall.
Q: Could it be a season-ending injury?
A: “We haven’t ruled that out at this stage,” Eberflus said. “We’ll see where he is on Wednesday.”
Q: How is Fields doing? Is it wrong?
A: “I think you can ask him when he’s coming here on Wednesday or whatever day he’s coming here this week,” Eberflus said.
Q: Why not disclose this information? Is it really going to give the Jets such an advantage whether Fields is in or out?
A: “I don’t know,” Eberflus said, not really answering that question. “We’ll see where it goes. Again, it’s day to day. So we’ll see where it is. That’s all I can really give you at the moment.”
Add insult to injury:
On the play after Justin Fields injured his shoulder, the Bears quarterback took off again, this time gaining 4 yards on a run down the middle.
Turns out it was supposed to be a draw against David Montgomery. So what happened?
“Bad communication,” Matt Eberflus said.
The worst part of the game was that no flag came after Falcons’ Grady Jarrett blasted a sliding Fields in the head. This was yet another instance of officials making a late-game call against the Bears.
“We have to protect these quarterbacks and that includes our quarterback,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “We have to do a better job in the league.”
Defensive lineman Justin Jones was careful not to criticize the referees when asked about this play, saying: “Man. It’s tough, man. We’re not supposed to say anything about it. either, you know? But it’s hard, bro. It’s hard.”
Easy pass? Oh good?
Doing his best Pinocchio impression, Matt Eberflus said “it would be a pretty easy transition” if the Bears were to face Trevor Siemian at quarterback against the Jets on Sunday.
“Trevor is obviously a very intelligent person, a very good passer, who has a great command of attack,” Eberflus said. “He’s been here since day one. High functional intelligence. So we’ll be excited about this guy.”
Siemian, who played college at Northwestern, threw 11 touchdown passes and just 3 interceptions in 6 games for the Saints last season. In 2016-17, he averaged 227.4 passing yards and threw for 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 25 games with the Broncos.
He’s unlikely to fare well, though, with a Bears offensive line struggling to pass the block and a receiving body struggling to open up.
Keep the head up :
Throughout training camp, David Montgomery was optimistic that a special season was on the horizon for the Bears.
He stuck to that vision after heavy losses in Weeks 4, 5 and 6, then was thrilled when the Bears upset the Patriots 33-14 in Week 7.
However, four more losses followed, making it clear that this campaign won’t end the way the running back had hoped.
Despite the setbacks – the last three having gotten just 7 points combined – Montgomery is doing his best to stay positive.
“Anyone who’s a competitor, you don’t like to lose. It sucks,” he said. “You prepare in the best way you feel like you should. You just fall short. But you are a professional.
“You still have to come here and do your job.”
Montgomery, who rushed for 67 yards on 17 carries in a 27-24 loss at Atlanta on Sunday, isn’t thrilled with the way he’s been doing his job lately. He even found fault with his 32-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The play began with a fake action play to Montgomery, who said he hadn’t sold the race well enough.
“I need to have a better fake game so … so we can open up guys,” Montgomery said.
These little details matter. The winning teams do it exceptionally well. The mediocre go through the motions.
Of course, the Bears — now 3-8 and losing seven of the last eight — aren’t even mediocre right now. But that doesn’t mean heads will be hanging when everyone returns to practice on Wednesday.
“The guys here are really, really looking forward to winning,” defensive lineman Justin Jones said. “That’s the most important part. I’ve heard stories about places where it’s going in the right direction in some parts of the team, and other parts of the team don’t want to be here.
“Everybody wants to be here man. Everybody wants to play and win games. Obviously when we lose these games it weighs on you. But the guys keep pushing. The guys keep fighting.
“He’s the kind of guy we have in the building.”
By the numbers:
Led by Justin Fields (834), Khalil Herbert (643) and David Montgomery (501), the Bears rushed for 2,177 yards this season. It’s the highest team total since Neal Anderson (1,078), Brad Muster (664) and Jim Harbaugh (321) helped the 1990 team rack up 2,436 rushing yards.
Since 1990, only teams from 2005, 2011 and 2021 have reached the 2,000 mark.
The Bears are on course to rush for 3,364 yards, which would shatter the team record of 2,974 yards and break the NFL mark held by the Ravens from 2019 (3,296).