An ugly Thursday night football matchup won't even have Justin Fields included in it.
The 2-7 Chicago Bears will get at least one more start from undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent. Bears coach Matt Eberflus said Justin Fields isn't ready to return from a thumb injury, Fields was listed as doubtful on the injury report and Bagent will start against the 1-7 Panthers, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.
It's not like the Bears want to lose this one. Chicago owns the Panthers' 2024 first-round pick, and Carolina is tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the fewest wins this season.
Bagent is a great story out of Division II Shepherd, but he has thrown five interceptions over Chicago's last two games. Both of those games were losses.
The Bears were hopeful Fields would return this week but clearly they don't want to rush him.
Fields was on a hot streak before he suffered a dislocated thumb in Week 6. He'll likely be back soon, though it won't be for Thursday's prime-time game.