CHICAGO– Justin Fields has been out for three weeks of the NFL season since dislocating his thumb on his throwing hand. It has been a tough journey back, and Eberflus has repeated time and again that the main concern is “grip strength.” Undrafted rookie free agent Tyson Bagent has been filling in for the former Ohio State star in the meantime. Results have been mixed, but there was growing optimism that Fields would be healthy to return for the Thursday Night “Draft Position” showdown versus the Carolina Panthers.
It’s a must-win game for the Bears as it is the single game on your schedule in which you directly control the outcome of one of your draft picks (the Bears own Carolina’s 2024 1st-rounder). Many in Chicago hoped Fields would return for this matchup to give the Bears the leg up they need in this crucial game.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Head Coach Matt Eberflus was questioned about Fields’ status for the game following consecutive days of “limited” practice. Eberflus initially stated that Fields would be listed as “Doubtful” for the game. Further clarification was inquired, to which Eberflus stated Fields would not play, Bagent would start, and Nathan Peterman would back up the rookie. This further complicated things. After a very awkward exchange with the media, refusing to announce if Fields was out, doubtful, hopeful to start, or a game-time decision, the exasperated Eberflus spontaneously broke out into a rhythmic blurb of frustration and "gamesmanship" (a useful tactic for a 2-7 team):
“Uh, sama lama duma lama, you assumin' I'm a human
What I gotta do to get it through to you, I'm superhuman?
Innovative and I'm made of rubber
So that anything you say is ricochetin' off of me and it'll glue to you
I'm devastating, more than ever demonstrating
How to give a motherf—-in' audience a feelin' like it's levitating
Never fading, and I know that the haters are forever waiting
For the day that they can say I fell off, they'll be celebrating
'Cause I know the way to get 'em motivated
I make elevating music, you make elevator music.” (--Quoth the Marshall)
Frankly, this rant was received with even more confusion.
And an offer from Death Row Records.
(Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images)