Justin Fields takes another step toward returning to the Bears’ lineup


LAKE FOREST – For a second-straight week, the biggest question surrounding the Bears concerns their starting quarterback.

Will Justin Fields play on Sunday?

The answer was “no” against the Jets in Week 12 but it’s looking more optimistic that it could be a “yes” for Week 13.

On Thursday, the Bears announced that Fields was a full participant in practice ahead of the game against the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Since suffering a left shoulder injury late in the loss to the Falcons in Week 11, the quarterback had been limited in all three practices before the game against the Jets and then on Wednesday of this week.

But he was back to full participation on Thursday, increasing the odds that he might make a return to the lineup against Green Bay on Sunday. On Wednesday, Fields said that he was seeing progress with the left shoulder that was dislocated when he was tackled on a run during the final drive against the Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

“I feel better than last Wednesday for sure,” said Fields at his news conference at Halas Hall before the Packers’ game. “Just feeling better, each and every day.”

There was a thought to have Fields take another week off since the Bears will be on the bye next week, giving the quarterback more time to heal. But head coach Matt Eberflus dismissed that at this news conference on Wednesday, maintaining that the Bears are looking at the injury at the moment.

“It’s really just day-to-day. It doesn’t really factor in. It’s really what he is this week,” said Eberflus when asked if the team had thought about an extended healing time for Fields’ shoulder with the bye week coming up. “If he feels really comfortable and feels great and his mobility and strength’s back from the medical staff, and then week look at it as GM, head coach, look at it and say green light, then it’s a green light.”

In his second year with the Bears, Fields has seen progress, especially over the last month. He’s rushed for 834 yards (6.8 per carry) with seven touchdowns rushing while completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 1,642 yards and 13 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions.

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