Fields said he is dealing with a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments, calling it "basically an AC joint" injury after he landed out of bounds on his left, non-throwing shoulder upon being tackled on the Bears' final drive in a loss to Atlanta. He was limited in practice Thursday and Friday.
Coach Matt Eberflus said the determination on whether Fields plays will be a game-time decision.
"I think we're going to let it go up to the game," Eberflus said. "We'll try to do that. We think that's where it is, and we'll see where he is at game time and see how he feels."
Eberflus said that Fields is feeling better "every single day" but that the decision to play the 23-year-old quarterback will be a "three-pronged effect." Fields would first need to be cleared to play by Bears medical staff, then the quarterback would need to "feel really good about his performance." Finally, Chicago coaches would take their assessment of Fields during the week at practice, according to Eberflus, to make a decision about his status.
"He's able to do a lot of things, so we're getting him in there with what he can do, and he's been doing good in there," Eberflus said.
The Bears will start backup quarterback Trevor Siemian against the Jets if Fields is unable to play. Eberflus does not view the ambiguity as the need for two separate game plans based on which quarterback will start.
"You do have to have plays that are for Justin, and the ones were designed and are designed, then you have to have ones that are designed for the backup at that position, for sure. But it's not a huge range. Obviously, our offense is our offense, and there's certain things that Justin does and we've added since the bye week, the mini-bye. It will just be our offense."
Chicago is 3-8 and has a four-game losing streak. While questions of weighing the benefit of sitting Fields so his shoulder can heal versus playing the quarterback at not full health have been raised, Eberflus said he did not believe the decision surrounding the QB would be different if the Bears were in the hunt for the playoffs.
"My preference is [for him] to play if he's 100 percent ready to play," Eberflus said. "That's my preference."