Over the last five weeks, opposing defense have found Justin Fields to be nearly unstoppable.
Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears quarterback, though, a left shoulder injury will stop him in Week 12.
Fields, who was questionable coming into the game, suffered what he described as a separated shoulder with torn ligaments in a Week 11 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Siemian will be backed up by Nathan Peterman, whose elevation on Saturday hinted at Fields being unable to go.
Since Week 7, Fields has racked up an NFL-high 15 offensive touchdowns. Nine of those TDs came through the air, with six on the ground, as Fields had at least one passing score and rushing touchdown for five weeks running. That streak is tied with Kyler Murray for the longest such streak since 1950, per NFL Research.
However, Fields' 122 rushing attempts and league-high 40 sacks have most assuredly taken their toll. The question now looms as to if Fields will be shut down for the season. In just his second NFL season, Fields has come into his own, but Bears success has not followed as they're dead last in the NFC going into Sunday. Bringing back a banged-up Fields and risking further injury for a season with only mathematical playoff hopes still pulsing would be questionable to say the least.
In Fields' absence, Siemian will get his first start with the Bears after inking a deal with the squad in the offseason. The veteran backup has appeared in just one game so far this season, coming in during a 49-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 in which he completed one pass in as many attempts for 5 yards. Bears running back David Montgomery will likely see an increased load rushing the ball, but with Fields and Khalil Herbert each out, it's likely a Siemian-led offense will see more passing despite Chicago being the No. 1-ranked rushing offense.
Siemian was 0-4 as a starter with the New Orleans Saints last year. He has lost five straight starts, with his last win coming as a member of the Denver Broncos in Week 15 of the 2017 season.
Siemian's other defeat in that five-game skid came in 2019 with the Jets, who he'll face Sunday.
When the 2022 schedule was originally released, this matchup was slated to feature the 2021 No. 2 overall pick, quarterback Zach Wilson, and the '21 draft's No. 11 pick, Fields, facing off. Now, it will be Mike White starting for the Jets, who benched Wilson, and Siemian starting for the Bears.
The Bears (3-8) and Jets (6-4) kick off at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.