Bears' Decision to Return Justin Fields, Tyrique Stevenson to Game Despite Head Injuries
Justin Fields and Tyrique Stevenson were both hit in the head during the Bears' game against the Chiefs, but were allowed to continue playing.
The decision to keep Justin Fields and Tyrique Stevenson in the game after suffering hits to the head has raised concerns about player safety and the protocols in place to protect them. In Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Fields took a shot to the head from linebacker Willie Gay during the fourth quarter. Despite appearing woozy, Fields tried to continue playing but was eventually forced to the sideline by wide receiver DJ Moore. The Bears kicked a field goal, and Fields went into the medical tent briefly before returning to the game.
Head coach Matt Eberflus defended the decision, stating that Fields had been cleared to play. Eberflus explained that Fields was ready to go back in and even led a successful drive at the end of the game. However, the decision to allow Fields to continue playing after such a hit raises questions about the team's commitment to player safety.
Fields wasn't the only player to suffer a head injury in the game. Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson also took a big hit to the head while tackling Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco. Stevenson briefly left the game to be evaluated but returned for one play before leaving again to be evaluated for a possible concussion. However, Eberflus clarified on Monday that Stevenson was never actually tested for a concussion and that it was determined to be a neck injury instead.
The handling of these head injuries is concerning, as player safety should always be the top priority. The fact that Stevenson was allowed back in the game without a proper concussion evaluation raises questions about the team's adherence to safety protocols. Eberflus defended the decision, stating that it was an illness that caused Stevenson to leave the game, but the lack of transparency and clarity surrounding the situation is troubling.
In addition to Fields and Stevenson, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds also left the game during the second half. Eberflus assured that Edmunds was fine and could have returned to the game if needed. However, the decision was made to keep him out and give another player, Sanborn, some playing time.
Overall, the handling of head injuries in Sunday's game raises concerns about the Bears' commitment to player safety. The decision to allow Fields and Stevenson back in the game without proper evaluations is troubling and goes against the protocols in place to protect players. It is important for teams to prioritize player safety and ensure that proper evaluations are conducted to prevent further harm.