Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is ready to return Sunday in opposition to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Fields will make his first begin since Oct. 15 after recovering from a dislocated proper thumb. His comeback begins with the Bears’ first assembly this season with the NFC North-leading Lions (7-2). It’s the primary of three straight division video games for the Bears (3-7).
As kickoff approaches, right here’s our snapshot take a look at the sport.
Player within the highlight
Coach Matt Eberflus stated Friday that he may really feel the joy at Halas Hall this week because the Bears welcomed again Fields, who missed 4 video games and is “champing at the bit” to play.
The Bears evaluated Fields’ operation taking part in with the damage all week — the quarterback’s first full week of follow — and Eberflus stated he improved each day.
“You get that timing with the receivers on the concepts you’re running that particular week,” Eberflus stated. “He got his footwork back where it needed to be. The accuracy was good, got better as the week went on.”
Fields stated Wednesday that he was centered on Sunday’s sport and never the big-picture implications of the ultimate seven video games of the season — when he should show to Bears management that he needs to be the crew’s future quarterback.
Eberflus echoed that Fields wants a microfocus so he doesn’t put an excessive amount of stress on himself as he returns in opposition to a Lions protection led by defensive finish Aidan Hutchinson. The second choose of the 2022 draft has 4 1/2 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, 4 tackles for a loss, a pressured fumble, an interception and 4 passes defended.
“Just operate the offense,” Eberflus stated. “Protect the football. Operate the offense. Let the runners run, give it to them, let them do their thing. And when you have your chance and your opportunity when called, make it happen and let it flow. That’s really the message to him and what he has been focused on.”
What’s subsequent for a more healthy Bears protection?
The Bears may have most of their beginning protection intact Sunday if linebacker Tremaine Edmunds returns from a knee damage that stored him out the final two video games. Edmunds was restricted in follow Friday and is listed as questionable to play.
The Bears would profit from being full power in opposition to probably the greatest offenses they’ve confronted this season. The Lions rank second with 406.4 yards per sport and sixth with 26.8 factors per sport. They boast a balanced assault, rating fourth in each dashing and passing yards per sport.
Quarterback Jared Goff has accomplished 68.4% of his passes for two,507 yards, 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions with simply 15 sacks.
“The quarterback is talented,” cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke stated. “He has seen a lot of football, and you can see that. The way he goes through his progression is so quick, and he knows where he needs to go with the football. He protects the ball well, does not throw many interceptions. Doesn’t take a whole lot of sacks, knows how to get rid of the ball.”
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has 65 catches for 821 yards and 4 touchdowns, and rookie tight finish Sam LaPorta has 47 catches for 474 yards and 4 touchdowns.
“Two really dynamic players at their respective positions,” Eberflus stated. “St. Brown is only a implausible participant. … You discuss his power and his quickness — his capability to remain open along with his quickness but additionally be open along with his power if he’s coated.
“Then the tight end is obviously a great get for those guys. He shows great athletic ability. He’s got a big catch radius, which allows him to stay open. But he understands the game and he understands how to use his body above his years. Him being a rookie, to me when I look at him he looks like a second- or third-year player.”
Keep an eye fixed on …
After 4 seasons with the Bears, Montgomery, a 2019 third-round draft choose of former normal supervisor Ryan Pace, opted to signal with the Lions within the offseason. Now, behind an excellent offensive line, he’s on tempo for one of the best season of his profession.
Montgomery, who topped 1,000 dashing yards for the Bears in 2020, has rushed for 501 yards and 7 touchdowns on 106 carries in six video games.
“We know him pretty well,” linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi stated. “Big, strong, hits the hole really fast, runs with great pad level, really good after contact, keeps his legs moving. Both backs, him and (Jahmyr) Gibbs, are dynamic.”
Gibbs, the twelfth choose within the 2023 draft, has 90 carries for 476 yards and 4 touchdowns and 31 catches for 200 yards.
Borgonzi stated Gibbs reminds him of New Orleans Saints operating again Alvin Kamara.
“He’s really good out of the backfield catching the ball,” Borgonzi stated. “An interesting dynamic with Montgomery, who is more of the power back and Gibbs is more of the outside runner but dynamic in the open field. Can make people miss but also finishes runs.”
Khalil Herbert to return
Fields isn’t the one Bears participant making a comeback this week.
Eberflus stated the Bears deliberate to activate operating again Khalil Herbert after he missed 5 video games with a excessive ankle sprain. Herbert was the beginning again with 51 carries for 272 yards earlier than the damage.
Herbert stated he was glad to see D’Onta Foreman reach his place and isn’t anxious about the way it will have an effect on his alternatives. Foreman, who’s questionable to play with an ankle damage, has 86 carries for 367 and three touchdowns.
“I always have the same mindset since I’ve been in the league: Get one carry and try and score,” Herbert stated. “I try to make the most of whatever I can get, and I feel like he’s done the same thing and so have the other guys.”
Now the Bears should strike a stability between how they use the duo and rookie operating again Roschon Johnson. Eberflus stated they’ll have a plan for the reps but additionally will take a look at the move of the sport and who’s operating effectively to find out which participant to show to.
“It’s just going to be a heck of a group effort,” Herbert stated. “We’ve got guys in our room that can take it the distance and punish the defense. One guy goes out, another guy goes in. (The Lions) are going to be tired, but we’re going to be fresh. I feel like that’s a lot to defend.”
Along with Edmunds and Foreman, linebacker Jack Sanborn is questionable after he missed follow Friday with an sickness. Linebacker Noah Sewell will likely be out with a knee damage.
For the Lions, defensive deal with Isaiah Buggs (sickness) and guard Jonah Jackson (wrist/ankle) are out. Safety Ifeatu Melifonwu (hand) is questionable.
Brad Biggs (6-4)
This is the type of sport coach Matt Eberflus wants within the worst means. More than 1 1/2 seasons into his Bears tenure, he doesn’t have a signature win until you rely the 2022 opener in a driving rainstorm in opposition to the then-Trey Lance-led San Francisco 49ers. The Lions symbolize a step up at school for the reason that Bears’ Week 2 sport at Kansas City. It’s going to be an enormous check for some younger gamers, not simply quarterback Justin Fields. Rookie tight deal with Darnell Wright will face a problem going in opposition to Aidan Hutchinson. Second-year cornerback Kyler Gordon ought to draw numerous work in opposition to super-shifty large receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Bears have been higher on protection of late, however an upset is an enormous ask — they haven’t defeated an opponent with a profitable document since Week 5 of 2021.
Lions 27, Bears 19
Colleen Kane (6-4)
I don’t know the final time I picked the Lions over the Bears — and sure, the Lions received each video games final season — however there’s not a lot doubt this time about which crew is crew. The Bears are more healthy than they’ve been for lots of this season, with the offensive line at full power and the protection nearing it. But the Lions pose numerous issues, particularly with a number of weapons on offense. Meanwhile, it’s laborious to know what the Bears will get from Justin Fields in his return. Will he rapidly get again within the groove he present in Weeks 4 and 5? Or will there be rust? Will the precise thumb damage hinder him? I believe the Lions preserve rolling.
Lions 30, Bears 21
Dan Wiederer (7-3)
Justin Fields is again. And the Bears are taking part in a way more aggressive and inspiring model of protection today. But the Lions are for actual. They are taking part in at dwelling in entrance of a instantly optimistic crowd. And the Lions are laser centered on a one-step-at-a-time march towards profitable the NFC North for the primary time. Ever.
Lions 29, Bears 17