LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields will likely miss at least one game because of a dislocated right thumb, coach Matt Eberflus said Monday.
Eberflus said it’s “doubtful” Fields plays this week when the Bears (1-5) host the Las Vegas Raiders after he was injured in Sunday’s 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Rookie Tyson Bagent figures to start in his place.
Eberflus also said the Bears hired former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow as a defensive analyst, filling a position created after former defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned last month.
Fields was hurt on Chicago’s first possession of the third quarter against Minnesota. He seemed to land awkwardly on his hand trying to throw the ball away while getting sacked by Danielle Hunter. The Bears punted on the next play, and Fields headed to the locker room.
An X-ray showed no fractures. Fields underwent an MRI on Monday, and Eberflus had no timetable for Fields' return.
“It’s really going to come down to grip strength,” Eberflus said. “There’s natural swelling that occurs with this injury. We really should know more at the end of the week.”
He gave similar answers when asked if the MRI showed any structural damage and if Fields would need surgery. The injury adds another wrinkle to the Bears' long-term decision when it comes to the quarterback position.
Fields is 6-25 as a starter over three years. The Bears have to decide after the season whether to exercise the fifth-year option for 2025.
Fields struggled through the first three games, then delivered two of his best performances as a passer before a rough outing against the Vikings. He completed 6 of 10 pass for 58 yards with an interception and was sacked four times. Bagent was 10 of 14 passes for 83 yards with an interception in his debut.
Snow — Carolina’s defensive coordinator from 2020 to 2022 — will handle advance scouting. Eberflus said he will work at Halas Hall, but not attend Bears games.
Former Detroit Lions coach and Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli introduced them at the NFL combine years ago. Snow was the linebackers coach on Marinelli’s staff in Detroit. Eberflus and Marinelli worked together as assistants with the Dallas Cowboys.