Justin Fields Cleared to Start for Bears vs. Packers After Suffering Rib Injury

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2021

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 21: Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws the football during a game between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens on November 21, 2021 at Soldier Field, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Justin Fields will start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers after being cleared from his rib injury, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The rookie has missed the last two games after suffering the injury during the Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Rapoport reported testing revealed "a few cracked ribs."

Andy Dalton has started the past two games and has made six appearances so far in 2021, but the veteran will return to the bench.

With a 4-8 record entering Week 14, the Bears likely aren't heading to the playoffs no matter who is at quarterback. The team will still use this time to get Fields valuable reps as he tries to reach his potential.

The 2021 No. 11 draft pick has been up and down in the NFL, totaling 1,361 passing yards with four touchdowns and eight interceptions in 10 games. He has added 311 rushing yards and two scores, although 103 of those yards came in one game against the San Francisco 49ers.

There have still been bright spots, including his rushing ability in his last four starts before the injury.

Fields set a career high with 291 passing yards in his last full game in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, leading the squad to a season best in points scored despite a 29-27 loss.

More time on the field could allow the former Ohio State star to continue his development and end the season on a high note.

The Packers could still provide problems with a defense that ranks fifth in the NFL in points allowed per game this season.