Lamar Jackson’s NFL record for the most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback is safe. Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields won’t play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings due to a strained hip, coach Matt Eberflus announced Wednesday.
Fields will finish the 2022 season with 1,143 rushing yards. Jackson set the record with 1,206 rushing yards in 2019.
After the Bears’ Week 17 loss to the Lions, Eberflus said a healthy Fields would start Sunday against the Vikings. He backtracked on that stance Monday, and with Fields complaining of hip pain after the loss, the decision to shut him down was made.
It’s the right decision by the Chicago Bears. It’s safe to assume Justin Fields would play if the game had any meaning, but at 3-13, the year has long been over. Sitting Fields should help the Bears’ 2023 NFL Draft pick, too. The chances Chicago upsets the Vikings are near-zero without Fields in the lineup.
If the Bears lose to Minnesota in Week 18, they’ll lock up the second-overall pick. A Bears loss combined with a Houston Texans win over the Indianapolis Colts would give Chicago the first pick in the 2023 draft.
Setting a single-season record is incredible, but it isn’t enough to risk Fields’ long-term health.
Buckle up, Bears fans. It’s Nathan Peterman time.