While there’s ample debate about what quarterback Justin Fields can show over the ultimate seven video games of the Chicago Bears season, that chatter isn’t going down contained in the partitions of Halas Hall.
Yes, coach Matt Eberflus mentioned Wednesday that seven weeks “is enough time to show consistency,” however Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy are current solely within the right here and now — making ready for Sunday’s sport at Ford Field towards the first-place Detroit Lions.
Just as Fields talked Wednesday a couple of singular focus, Getsy spoke Thursday of that very same strategy, giving a measured evaluation of the state of affairs as Fields returns after lacking 4 video games with a dislocated proper thumb.
The concentrate on Fields and the remaining slate is comprehensible, because the Bears should select a path on the finish of the season: roll into 2024 with Fields or transfer on and draft a quarterback within the first spherical. It appears fairly unlikely basic supervisor Ryan Poles would maintain Fields and seize a quarterback on the prime of the draft.
Generally groups have a three-year timeline with drafted quarterbacks, and that’s the place Fields is, nearing the tip of Year 3 after the Bears picked him within the first spherical in 2021. Does it make the method untimely at instances? Maybe. Is it tied to the fifth-year choice within the contracts of first-round picks? You guess.
But if the entrance workplace is it that method, that doesn’t imply the coaches are viewing the state of affairs by way of the identical lens.
“Maybe it’s fair for them to have to think that way,” Getsy mentioned. “But from our perspective, it’s about us getting better as a unit each and every day, and Justin’s a big part of us getting better each and every day. If he grows and gets better, then we’re going to grow and get better.”
Fields mentioned some therapeutic stays however the thumb is secure. Obviously ball safety is a big concern. The Bears are 3-0 once they don’t commit a turnover.
The teaching workers nonetheless is sorting by way of some points. Is Fields totally comfy taking snaps underneath middle? Maybe it’s not an enormous deal because the Bears are inclined to lean on shotgun alignments, however it’s one thing to think about.
“That’s part of the progression of the week, trying to figure that out,” Getsy mentioned. “What he’s feeling great about. Haven’t narrowed that down just exactly yet. But (we) feel good about (him) being able to do a lot of different things so far and he’s handled the week pretty good.”
Fields was near returning for the Week 10 win over the Carolina Panthers however didn’t obtain medical clearance. The Bears consider he has been mentally locked in the whole time and could have a seamless transition again into the lineup.
He has to see if he can harness the high-level play he confirmed in Week 5 at Washington — and for 3 quarters the week earlier than that towards the Denver Broncos. Those stand because the highlights of his season up to now.
Fields was 43 of 64 in these two video games with 617 passing yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception plus one misplaced fumble. The passing sport was diversified and potent.
What’s unsettling is the ups and downs that include his sport. Before he was injured within the Oct. 15 loss to the Minnesota Vikings — one week after the victory over the Commanders — he was on the sphere for seven collection. The offense produced greater than 15 yards in solely two of them.
So looking for a pathway to extra common high-level play is what Eberflus, Getsy and in the end Fields are in search of.
“It always starts with taking care of the football,” Getsy mentioned when requested what consistency would seem like to him. “That’s the place to begin for anyone on offense, particularly the quarterback. It’s about getting higher and progressing each week.
“There were really cool parts of this season when we saw that from him. And unfortunately, the injury comes. Let’s get back on track with that and continue to grow together.”
The offensive line can be maybe at its healthiest all season. Nate Davis is anticipated again after lacking 4 video games with a excessive ankle sprain. He’ll slot in at proper guard with Teven Jenkins switching to left guard. Jenkins began at left guard towards the Vikings and within the preseason opener, however these are his solely begins there.
“It’s never easy anytime anybody has to move any position,” Getsy mentioned. “But to speak to Teven, the ability to come in and be a tackle and then be a guard on both sides — he’s played tackle on both sides, he’s played guard on both sides — that speaks to the type of player he is and the capability that he has.”
The Bears have rushed for 116 or extra yards in eight of 10 video games, and that continues to be an essential issue when the offense performs nicely. The Lions enter with the league’s third-ranked run protection (79.1 yards per sport) and have surrendered 100 or extra yards solely as soon as, when the Baltimore Ravens ran for 146 en path to a 38-6 victory in Week 8.
Running again Khalil Herbert is a chance to return from injured reserve. If so, he would give Getsy and the offense another choice with D’Onta Foreman operating nicely.
“That’s a fortunate position to be in, to be able to have a few guys that can go do that and kind of display our play style,” Getsy mentioned “Khalil was playing really well. He was crushing it that night (at Washington). We’re excited to get him back on the field.”