Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus evaded any real answer in his Friday press conference on how Justin Fields feels about missing games due to his right thumb injury. The Bears gave rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent his fourth start in their win over the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.
Fields returned to practice in Week 10, and there were videos posted of Fields gripping and throwing the football at practice. However, the Bears listed Fields as doubtful to play the Panthers on their injury report released Wednesday.
Eberflus explained to reporters Wednesday (in an inarticulate way that drew national criticism) that Fields was doubtful to play because the medical staff had not cleared the third-year Bears quarterback to play.
Chicago Bears HC refuses to answer question directly on QB
Eberflus met with reporters Friday ahead of the Bears mini-bye before playing the Detroit Lions in Week 11. Reporters asked about Fields rehab plans for the mini-bye. Eberflus was once again evasive regarding where Fields is with his rehab process.
Here’s a question and answer that was purposely answered in a confusing manner by Eberflus:
Reporter: “Matt, has Justin given you his green light that he feels ready to go at this point?”
Eberflus (in an apathetic tone): Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s like, uh, it’s like, you know, we’re just going to leave it at that.”
Leave it at what?
Reporters asked follow-up questions about whether Fields pushed the coaching staff to play against the Panthers. Here’s Eberflus’ most articulate answer:
“All the guys always push me to play, you know, and it’s always up to the trainers,” Eberflus said with a sarcastic grin. “The trainers are the guys that make that decision, that clear those guys medically, and when they do that, then we push them on the field and see where they are as coaches and go from there.”
Coach Eberflus is live at the podium https://t.co/ptsgDm5j1D
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 10, 2023
Eberflus wouldn’t provide a direct answer on Fields specifically. He chose to answer in a general way. Eberflus’ decision to answer questions in this way isn’t making his players, the coaching staff, or the team look good.
The non-answer comes as some pundits in the national media think Fields’ best option is not to play for the Bears again and to demand a trade in the offseason.
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