The Chicago Bears' nightmare season took another turn Sunday afternoon.
After two of his most impressive performances of the 2023 campaign, quarterback Justin Fields was knocked from the Bears' Week 6 clash against the Minnesota Vikings with a right hand injury. Fields was later ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
Justin Fields is heading towards the locker room after suffering an apparent injury on the last play pic.twitter.com/lGsUfr34LT
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 15, 2023
Prior to getting injured, on a scramble play where he took a hard hit, Fields had completed 6-of-10 passes for 58 yards and rushed for 46 more, while averaging 5.8 yards per carry against the opportunistic Vikings defense.
Fields' injury is yet another disappointment for Chicago, in a season that has been full of them, especially given the fact that over the two prior games, the 24-year-old had passed for 617 yards with eight passing touchdowns to just one interception.
In Fields' absence, the Bears turned to undrafted rookie free agent backup Tyson Bagent to lead Chicago the rest of the way. Bagent played his college ball at Division II Sheperd, and made the Bears' roster following an impressive spring, training camp, and preseason.
Through the Bears' first six games of the season, Fields had passed for 1,201 yards with 11 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, beginning to show some incremental growth from the pocket. However, the injury casts some concern over Fields' and the Bears' outlook.
The Bears viewed this season as a barometer for Fields' ability to be the future of the franchise, but if he is forced to miss significant time, it could cloud the organization's ability to evaluate him and lead to some uncertainty if Chicago is selecting at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft. Chicago, currently 1-4, owns the Carolina Panthers' (0-5), first-round pick in next spring's draft, in addition to their own.
At the time Fields was knocked from the game, the Vikings jumped out to a 19-6 lead, after Bagent's fumble was returned for a touchdown by Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks.
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