Bears still 'working through' Justin Fields' rib injury, but 'when he's healthy, he's the starter'

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(670 The Score) The Bears were back at Halas Hall on Monday, regrouping for the first time since their 16-14 win against the Lions in Detroit last Thursday. With the NFL-best Arizona Cardinals (9-2) on the schedule this coming Sunday, much of the focus Monday was on the health of rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who missed the Thanksgiving win because of cracked ribs he suffered against the Ravens on Nov. 21.

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The Bears are still “working through” Fields’ status for this Sunday, but the coaches and training staff have been pleased with how recovery has gone so far, Nagy said.

“Well, you know, once we get the OK from these trainers, doctors and players, in any role, that they’re good to go, then you always know that and you know, we’re rolling now,” Nagy said. “But at the same point in time, you’ve got to be cognizant of not taking the extra hits. So that’s something we want to do with a healthy body. It’s definitely something we want to look into. Even whether it’s the throwing part of it, too. Not just the running part. Sometimes when you drop back to throw, you expose your chest and your ribs. All that said, we put all that together and we do what’s best for him and for us.”

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It’s easy to imagine a scenario where the Bears (4-7) – who are currently, somehow, only one game out of the final playoff spot in the NFC – might feel pressure to get Fields back in time for a stretch of season-defining games against the Cardinals, Packers and Vikings, but Nagy was adamant that everyone inside Halas Hall has been on the same page about his timeline from the start. Reports from various outlets around the league have mostly downplayed the severity of Fields' injury, including one from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that suggested Fields would've been 50-50 to play if the Bears-Lions game had been played Sunday. Nagy wouldn’t didn’t get into many specifics about the process – it's only Monday, after all – but at the least, Fields' health seems to be trending in the right direction.

“No, he won’t be out there too early,” Nagy added. “If we feel good about where we’re at, that’s great. When he’s healthy, he’s the starter. Again, I think every person – not just quarterback – every person probably handles an injury or coming back from an injury differently. Some may be able to get through it and do it, other people may think about it more. Justin, he’s super tough, and I think I know what side he’s on.”

Cam Ellis is a writer for 670 The Score and Audacy Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KingsleyEllis.