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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Chicago Bears go into a mini goodbye weekend with a win – and with hopes that Justin Fields (torn ribs) and Roquan Smith (hamstrings) can recover before their next game

Justin Fields is turning around “very good” according to coach Matt Nagy, but it’s too early to say what the status of the rookie quarterback will be with the Chicago Bears, who have been launched into a mini buy weekend on Friday.

Fields was inactive for Thursday’s 16-14 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, which Nagy confirmed had cracked ribs. On Friday morning, with the players closed for the weekend, Nagy said he did not know the length of the recovery, but it was certainly possible that the first-round draft pick could return and return to Soldier Field on December 5. Arizona could start against the Cardinals. ,

“We have some time now,” Negi said. “Every day matters to him. I think he’s doing a good job of keeping communication open. But we’ll have to wait and truly see if his health is at the point whether he can play or not. We certainly don’t want to risk him getting injured any more.”

Inside linebacker Rokwan Smith’s condition also remains up in the air after leaving the Thanksgiving game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. Free safety Eddie Jackson returned to action after missing two games (three weeks including a bye) with his hamstring injury. Nickel cornerback Duke Shelley was placed on injured reserve by the team after pulling a hamstring last week.

“Soft tissue, you never know,” said Nagy, who indicated he expected Smith to survive an IR stint. “Everyone is a little different. It depends on the magnitude and level of[the pull]. Everyone gets them and they’re all probably a little different on how many things you’ve put into your career, how you react to them.” Give, that’s all. He’ll do everything he can to fix that.”

Smith entered the game in tackles tied for third place in the league. After Smith’s exit, the Bears used Christian Jones along with Alec Ogletree and rookie free agent Caleb Johnson without draft.

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“I think everyone understands and knows how I feel about Rocan and what kind of football player he is,” Nagy said. “But I don’t know if people really understand who he is as the leader of this team. Not just defense but the team in general. He’s a big part of that. His true professionalism, from his teammates, to his The respect he has received from the coaches is rare. And he is only getting better every year and this year is probably his best year.”

Andy Dalton completed 24 of 39 passes for 317 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the first 300-yard passing game for this season and the third since the start of 2020. Negi reiterated what he had said, that Fields will return to the starting quarterback role when he recovers. The Bears will have a short practice on Monday and then begin their normal week of preparation from Wednesday.

Fields played through a brutal shot to his ribs in an NCAA semifinal game for Ohio State in January, so the Bears believe they have a tough competitor who will do well to face the Cardinals. may be available.

“Justin is really growing and getting better and I think we all saw that, he has great moments,” Nagy said. “Are there places where he can get better and we can help him get better? Sure, this is a rookie year, it happens, it’s all part of developing a rookie quarterback.

“His confidence, I think (Thursday) was good for Justin and we talked about it. He looks at it from a different point of view from the sidelines and now there are things that maybe he could use yesterday’s experience when he will come back. ”

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