Quarterback news dominates this matchup, as the Bears and an injured Justin Fields visits the Jets and a benched Zach Wilson.
Chicago Bears Overview
There is a little more clarity regarding the injury to Bears quarterback Justin Fields, even if we’re still not quite sure what it will mean for him going forward this season.
It comes down to the difference between a dislocated shoulder, which is bad, and a separated shoulder, which is not as bad. Fields suffered the latter, which is also known as an AC joint injury. It does involve torn ligaments, but not to the point that surgery is required. And according to doctors who deal with AC joint injuries, there is a decent chance that Fields can and will play.
Whether or not he should play is another issue. If he was a traditional quarterback, an AC joint injury to his non-throwing arm would be less of a concern. But the reason Bears fans are so excited about Fields is because he is anything but traditional.
As such a special athlete and as someone who was on his way to breaking the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback, he uses both arms far more than other quarterbacks. And he takes hits more than other quarterbacks.
The Bears aren’t playing for anything more than pride at this point. And now that they have discovered that Fields is indeed the player they were hoping he would be, preparing the team and him for the 2023 season is more important than him setting a record.
The Bears have the Jets Sunday, the Packers the following week, and then they have their bye week. If Fields doesn’t play on Sunday, don’t be surprised if he sits until at least Week 15.
New York Jets Overview
We are unsure about the status of Justin Fields, but there is no doubt about Zach Wilson. His play, coupled with how he is perceived by the Jets locker room, has resulted in his benching for this week’s game with Chicago. Head coach Robert Saleh made the announcement on Wednesday that Mike White will get the start on Sunday.
The issue for Wilson was his nine completions to 10 punts for the offense and the three points they managed to score, completely wasting the effort on defense that also only allowed three points. He then compounded the problem when a reporter asked him if he felt like he let his defense down, and he was so quick to answer “no” that he actually spoke over the end of the question.
Comments were made by Jets players, publicly and privately, Saleh had to sit down and talk with his young quarterback, and ultimately those conversations have led to Wilson’s benching. Saleh said that Wilson was surprised by the benching and upset by it, but that it was what was best for the team if they plan to win going forward.
Saleh did say that this isn’t the end of Wilson’s career with the Jets. Wilson is still the future, and the expectation is that his future will include a return to the field this season. But no timeline was given regarding a possible return for Wilson, nor was a guarantee given. He says that Wilson simply “needs a reset.”
Mike White’s last start was against the Bills over a year ago when he threw four interceptions.
Bears at Jets Prediction
Line: Jets (-6), total points 38.5
As the Bears decide what to do with Justin Fields, this line may move. So be sure to keep an eye on the news. But if he plays, he will be compromised, and far less likely to risk his body for big plays. If Fields doesn’t play, it would be backup Trevor Siemian who gets the start, and he, too, will be compromised by having thrown just one pass this season.
Siemian did get a decent number of reps last year in New Orleans, throwing 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He was last a full-time starter in 2017 with the Broncos.
This line has seen a good amount of movement with the Fields and Wilson news being announced, and it’s all moving in favor of the Jets. That leads one to worry, since quite often, big moves by the public are wrong.