For the Chicago Bears, all eyes remain on the injury status of quarterback Justin Fields, who is still dealing with a separated left shoulder and has yet to be cleared for full participation in practice.
Fellow quarterback Trevor Siemian, who started Sunday against the New York Jets, is sitting out Wednesday’s practice with the oblique injury he suffered in pregame warmups last weekend. That leaves practice squad quarterback Nathan Peterman as the emergency option to start this week against the Green Bay Packers with the Bears also signing Tim Boyle off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad as a precautionary measure.
Still, the Bears’ injury issues and roster churn go well beyond the quarterback position.
Coach Matt Eberflus said before Wednesday afternoon’s practice that both safety Jaquan Brisker and cornerback Kyler Gordon remain in concussion protocol for the second consecutive week, still awaiting clearance to return to the field.
“They are in it until they come out,” Eberflus said.
In addition, the Bears placed safety Dane Cruikshank on injured reserve Wednesday with a hamstring issue and confirmed that Eddie Jackson’s foot injury includes damage to his Lisfranc joint and will be season-ending.
Eberflus said the team was still seeking additional information to determine whether Jackson will need surgery on his left foot.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Eberflus said.
On the offensive line, meanwhile, with uncertainty surrounding the availability of Riley Reiff (shoulder) and Larry Borom (ankle), the Bears may be looking at using Alex Leatherwood as this weekend’s starter at right tackle. The team claimed Leatherwood off waivers in early September but he has yet to see game action.
Leatherwood was a top-20 pick by the Raiders in the 2021 draft but was cut by the team before the regular season began.
“We are excited and intrigued to see where it goes,” Eberflus said. “Because he’s a heck of an athlete at that position. And we’ll see where it goes from there.”
At 3-9, the Bears’ injury issues and ongoing roster churn remain notable. The team elevated undrafted rookie safety A.J. Thomas to the active roster on Tuesday, and signed veteran defensive back Adrian Colbert to the practice squad. The Bears also signed defensive lineman Andrew Brown off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad for added depth.