Week 6 recap: Justin Fields leaves with a hand injury as the Chicago Bears fall to 1-5 with a 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings

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The Chicago Bears lost quarterback Justin Fields to a right hand injury in the third quarter of a 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

The loss dropped the Bears to 1-5 but more importantly brought into question the status of their starting quarterback.

Fields was trying to get rid of the ball as Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter took him down for a sack. Fields’ hand reached out to toss the ball and then hit the ground before his body did.

Fields held his hand as he walked to the sideline and sat on the bench briefly before heading into the medical tent and then the locker room. The Bears ruled him out of the game before the third quarter was over.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said after the game that X-rays on Fields’ hand were negative and that he will have an MRI on Monday. Eberflus said Fields wanted to return to the game but couldn’t grip the ball.

Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, who played at Division II Shepherd and earned a roster spot and the backup job with a strong preseason performance, took over at quarterback.

Bagent completed 10 of 14 passes for 83 yards with an interception and also had a lost fumble and a touchdown run.

The Bears had a chance to take the lead with 6 minutes, 44 seconds to play and down 19-13.

Bagent led the Bears to the Vikings 35-yard line but threw an interception to cornerback Byron Murphy Jr., who was well in front of target DJ Moore.

It was Bagent’s second turnover. On his third NFL snap, Bagent fumbled on a strip-sack by Vikings safety Josh Metellus. Jordan Hicks recovered and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown and a 19-6 Vikings lead.

Bagent did, however, lead the only Bears touchdown drive.

On his third drive, Bagent sparked the Bears with passes of 18 and 24 yards to Moore. He connected with D’Onta Foreman for a 2-yard gain on third-and-1 and followed it with an 11-yard pass to Robert Tonyan to get the Bears to the 9-yard line. Two plays later, Bagent scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the Vikings lead to 19-13 with 7:46 to play.

The Bears offense had a rough day before Bagent entered. Fields completed 6 of 10 passes for 58 yards with no touchdowns, an interception and a 36.7 passer rating. He was sacked four times.

Facing a Vikings offense without star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, the Bears held the Vikings to one touchdown and two field goals.

Read more from Week 6.

Pressure gets to Bears — and QB Justin Fields is sacked 4 times: Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the Week 6 loss
Column: How bad is Justin Fields’ hand injury? After another loss, what does it mean for the Bears’ direction?
X-rays on Justin Fields’ hand are negative, but the Bears wait to see if he or Tyson Bagent will start next

Here’s how the game unfolded.

Inactives announced

The Bears will have their entire starting secondary active for the first time since the season opener when they play the Vikings on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon and safety Eddie Jackson are active after absences, though Gordon didn’t warm up with the starting defense pregame. Greg Stroman Jr. was at the nickel spot in warmups.

Gordon hasn’t played since the opener after he went on injured reserve with a broken hand. Johnson missed two games with a hamstring injury. Jackson missed three games with a foot injury he said was different than the one that ended his season in 2022.

Center Lucas Patrick also is active after going through concussion protocol last week.

The Bears previously ruled out running backs Khalil Herbert, whom they put on IR with an ankle injury, Roschon Johnson (concussion) and Travis Homer (hamstring).

Cornerback Terell Smith is out with an ankle injury and an illness. The Bears put wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown on IR on Friday.

Nathan Peterman is inactive but will be the emergency third quarterback behind Justin Fields and Tyson Bagent. Offensive lineman Aviante Collins is also inactive.

For the Vikings, safety Lewis Cine, tight end Nick Muse, outside linebacker Andre Carter II, offensive tackle Hakeem Adeniji and defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy are inactive.

Halftime: Vikings lead 12-6 after teams trade late takeaways

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins hit rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison with a 10-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the second quarter to give the Vikings a 12-6 halftime lead against the Bears.

Before that, only the Bears and Vikings kickers had scored.

The Bears’ Cairo Santos made field goals from 53 and 22 yards and the Vikings’ Greg Joseph was good from 53 and 51 as the teams were knotted at 6 before the late Vikings drive. Rasheem Green blocked Joseph’s extra point after the touchdown.

The Bears and Vikings traded takeaways late in the second quarter for an eventful finish to the half.

Bears linebacker T.J. Edwards hit Cousins’ arm as he was trying to pass. The ball floated into the air, and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds dived to grab it, giving the Bears the ball at the Vikings 35. Ruled an interception on the field, game statisticians listed it as a fumble recovery.

But Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks intercepted Bears quarterback Justin Fields on the ensuing drive, and the Vikings scored on Cousins’ pass to complete an eight-play, 77-yard drive.

The Bears passing offense that looked so good against the Washington Commanders in Week 5 didn’t show up much in the half.

The Bears had minus-3 passing yards through their first three drives before Fields hit Darnell Mooney with a 39-yard pass to get to the Vikings 41-yard line. But they gained only 5 more yards, and Santos made a 53-yarder.

Fields finished the half 6-for-10 for 58 yards with no touchdowns, the one interception and a 36.7 passer rating. He was sacked three times.

Fields was sacked twice on the Bears’ first drive, and they punted. The Bears took to the ground on their second drive, handing off to D’Onta Foreman, Darrynton Evans and Velus Jones Jr. and totaling 65 rushing yards.

But they couldn’t get in the end zone after having first-and-goal at the 7, and Santos made a 22-yard field goal to tie it at 3-3.

Joseph made field goals from 53 yards on the Vikings’ first drive and 51 on their second to give them a 6-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

The Bears defense looked to have a takeaway when Cousins fumbled a backward pass and Edwards tried to recover it. But replay review determined Edwards was out of bounds before recovering.

Bears right guard Nate Davis left in the first quarter after he suffered an ankle injury on a Fields pass to Khari Blasingame. He had to be helped off the field by trainers. Ja’Tyre Carter took over for Davis. The Bears said Davis was questionable to return.

The Bears announced safety Eddie Jackson, who rotated drives with Elijah Hicks, was questionable to return with a foot injury.

3rd quarter: Justin Fields leaves with right hand injury

Bears quarterback Justin Fields went into the medical tent on the sideline after a third-quarter sack and then headed to the locker room.

Fields walked off the field and appeared to be holding his right hand. He sat briefly on the bench before going with a trainer into the tent. It didn’t take long before he emerged to go to the locker room.

With 4:21 to play in the third quarter, the Bears ruled out Fields from returning to the game.

On third-and-7 on the Bears’ first drive of the second half, Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter took down Fields for a loss of 5 yards. It was the fourth Vikings sack of the day.

As Fields was in the locker room, rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent began warming up on the sideline. He entered the game on the next Bears drive for his regular-season NFL debut.

On Bagent’s third snap, he was sacked by safety Josh Metellus and fumbled, and linebacker Jordan Hicks picked up the loose ball and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown and a 19-6 Vikings lead.

Catch up on the rest of our coverage.

‘I feel like I am just playing ball’

A long weekend coming off the most complete performance in Justin Fields’ three seasons gave the Bears quarterback an opportunity to reflect.

The passing game in the last two games has looked, well, like a full-fledged attack and that’s not something we’ve seen with any regularity in these parts. Whether Fields reflected or not, he didn’t have anything revelatory to share about what those at Halas Hall have to hope is a breakthrough.

“I think I’m just focused on continuing to get better each and every day,” Fields said. “The offense, as a whole, we’ve gotten better each and every week. Our main goal is to just do that.” Read more here.

Column: It’s fun to dream of Bears picking 1-2 in the NFL draft, but the path to becoming a real challenger requires success now
Bears Q&A: What if QB Caleb Williams refused to come to Chicago on the No. 1 pick?

All eyes on the RB

The Bears ruled out their top three running backs — Khalil Herbert (ankle), Roschon Johnson (concussion) and Travis Homer (hamstring). That leaves D’Onta Foreman as the best rushing option.

Foreman, who has been in the NFL since 2017, said Thursday he was calm and confident as he prepares for the opportunity. He was pushed into action midseason with the 2021 Tennessee Titans and the 2022 Carolina Panthers and performed well. He rushed for 914 yards last season with the Panthers.

The Bears placed Herbert on injured reserve Friday, meaning he will miss at least four games.

D’Onta Foreman — pushed out of the running back mix early — is ready for his opportunity with the Bears

Tributes for Butkus

Bears players will wear No. 51 patches on their jerseys for the remainder of the season to pay tribute to late Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus.

The patch is one of several ways the Bears plan to honor Butkus, who died in his sleep at age 80 last week at his home in Malibu, Calif..

At Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, the Bears will have an on-field display of his retired No. 51 jersey. A Butkus memorial will sit at the stadium’s South Courtyard by Gate 1, a space where fans can see his Pro Football Hall of Fame bust and receive a commemorative button. A locker-room display with a Butkus jersey will be at Gate 7.

The Bears plan to have several in-game tributes. Read more here.

Column: Dick Butkus personified Chicago’s toughness with the Bears. ‘There was no way that guy wasn’t going to be great.’

Stats package

The Bears have lost 9 consecutive division losses, going winless in the NFC North since downing the Lions 16-14 in Detroit on Thanksgiving in 2021.

Since Lovie Smith was fired after the 2012 season, the Bears have a .311 winning percentage (19-42) in division games. Justin Fields is 1-9 as a starter in NFC North games, including an 0-2 mark against the Vikings. Read more here.

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