Bears QB Justin Fields (ribs) medically cleared to play, will start vs. Packers

Justin Fields is back in the driver's seat for the Chicago Bears.

Coach Matt Nagy announced Wednesday that Fields has been medically cleared and will start Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers.

The rookie quarterback has missed the past two games since suffering a rib injury in Week 11.

The 4-8 Bears went 1-1 with Andy Dalton as the starter in Fields' absence. Nagy added it's unclear if Dalton or No. 3 QB Nick Foles will be the backup Sunday, as Dalton is dealing with a left hand injury.

Fields has had an up-and-down rookie season since taking over starting duties in Week 3. He's flashed brilliant big-play ability with his arm and legs and was getting more comfortable with his reads before the injury. But he's also showed a propensity to hold the ball and make mental errors, as most rookies are wont to do.

Fields has a 69.0 passer rating, second-lowest among 33 qualified QBs -- ahead of only fellow rookie Zach Wilson.

In a season already slipping away, the growth of the rookie quarterback is the most crucial process for Chicago down the stretch. How Fields develops will set the tenor of the Bears offseason and years to come.

It was a formality that Fields would regain the starting QB job as soon as he was healthy enough to clear a medical check. That return will come Sunday night in prime time against the rival Packers at Lambeau Field.

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