Fields is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday, per sources informed of the situation. Head coach Matt Eberflus later confirmed that the team's plan is to start Fields this week.
The quarterback was listed as a full participant on the team's injury report Wednesday.
"It's not 100 percent, but it feels good," Fields told reporters Wednesday. "There's still a little bit of healing left. But, it's stable. Like I said, it's good."
Fields missed the past four games after suffering a dislocated thumb in a Week 6 loss to Minnesota. Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent took over the past month, helping Chicago to a 2-2 record while getting the ball out quickly. Still, the operation lacked the explosive plays with Fields on the sideline.
The third-year quarterback has had his ups and downs but showed pop in his three starts before going down with injury. Fields led the NFL with a 120.0 passer rating in the three games prior to his injury after generating a 67.7 passer rating in Weeks 1-3 (31st in NFL). Those are the types of roller-coaster experiences Fields must smooth out moving forward.
The stretch run is pivotal for both Fields and the Bears. The dynamic dual-threat needs to show he can be a consistent playmaker, display quicker processing and play within the offensive scheme without losing the big plays that make him an exciting quarterback.
The Bears currently hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 draft (from this past offseason's trade with Carolina). In 2023, they eschewed replacing Fields, electing to trade the top selection and ride with the 2021 No. 11 overall pick. How Fields plays over the next seven games will go a long way to determining his future in Chicago or elsewhere in 2024.
Sunday, Fields faces a Lions defense that has given up 30 points per game since Week 7, the most in the NFL.
"I'm really excited, I feel like the longer I was out the more I wanted to play," Fields said.