LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Justin Fields won’t get a chance to break the single-season rushing record for an NFL quarterback.

Fields will miss the season finale against the Minnesota Vikings because of a strained hip and Nathan Peterman will start in his place, Coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday.

Fields finishes his second season with 1,143 yards rushing, 63 shy of the record of 1,206 set by Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson in 2019 during his MVP season.

He was one of the few bright spots in a tough first season for Chicago under Eberflus and General Manager Ryan Poles. The Bears (3-13) set a franchise record last week at Detroit by dropping their ninth straight game and matched one with their 13th loss.

Fields hurt his hip during the blowout loss to the Lions. Eberflus said Fields’ hip was bothering him Monday and an MRI confirmed the strain. The team’s medical staff ruled him out for the game against NFC North champion Minnesota on Sunday.

Eberflus said it is “not a long-term injury” and Fields would have been sidelined even if Chicago had a playoff game this week.


“I asked him how it was today and he said it’s still real sore,” Eberflus said

The Bears have a shot at the No. 1 pick in the draft. The only team with a worse record is Houston (2-13-1). Eberflus insisted holding out Fields was a medical decision and not an attempt to boost the Bears’ standing in the draft.

“I would just go back to our normal operating procedure,” he said. “So what is it? It’s the medical staff, so he didn’t clear that hurdle. So if he’d have cleared that hurdle, then we’d have to go to the next one, which is the coaches. Is he functioning the way he can function to protect himself, right? Then it’s the player. Does he feel good about doing that. So he didn’t clear the first one. So, that’s just where it is.”

PATRIOTS: Safety Kyle Dugger was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 17 performance against Miami on Sunday.

Dugger finished with five tackles and an interception that he returned for a go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter. His touchdown set a franchise record for most defensive touchdowns in a season with seven. Dugger has scored three of them, including a pick-six at Las Vegas in Week 15 and a scoop-and-score versus Detroit in Week 5.

This is Dugger’s first AFC Player of the Week honor, and the Patriots’ fifth this year. Outside linebackers Matt Judon and Josh Uche have also been honored on defense, while kicker Nick Folk and Marcus Jones earned recognition for their efforts on special teams.


On the season, Dugger has recorded 72 tackles, a sack, three interceptions and a forced fumble despite missing a couple games. He ranks second on the team in tackles and interceptions.

• Wide receiver DeVante Parker and Jakobi Meyers were limited at practice on Wednesday, while two other players remain out in concussion protocol.

Marcus Jones (concussion) and Jonnu Smith (concussion) were the only two players listed as ‘did not participate.’ Both players suffered concussions in a loss to Cincinnati in Week 16.

HALL OF FAME: Joe Thomas, Darrelle Revis and Dwight Freeney are finalists in their first year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2023.

The 15 modern-day players who will be considered later this month include returning finalists DeMarcus Ware, Patrick Willis, Zach Thomas and Andre Johnson.

Six other returning finalists were announced Wednesday with Jared Allen, Willie Anderson, Ronde Barber, Devin Hester, Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne getting back to this stage.


CHIEFS: Kansas City activated wide receiver Mecole Hardman from injured reserve on Wednesday, less than an hour before the deadline to decide whether to place him on the active roster or end his season, though it’s unclear whether he will play this weekend in Las Vegas.

Hardman has not played since Week 9 because of an abdominal injury. He was designated to return on Dec. 14, opening a three-week window in which he could practice. And the Chiefs were optimistic that he could play in last Sunday’s win over Denver until Hardman experienced what Coach Andy Reid called “a setback” during practice.

JETS: Zach Wilson’s rough second season is over. When – or if – he plays another game for the Jets remains to be seen.

The struggling quarterback will be inactive Sunday in the team’s season finale at Miami, with Mike White starting a second straight game and Joe Flacco the backup. Still, Coach Robert Saleh insisted Wednesday that Wilson still has a future with the franchise.

“Zach has got all the talent in the world and we have all the confidence in the world in him,” Saleh said. “It’s just like I’ve said from this ‘reset,’ we’re going to grind with him, we are.

“And through hell or high water, we’re going to figure out how to get him to where we know he can be.”


DOLPHINS: Miami signed veteran quarterback Mike Glennon to the practice squad Wednesday amid injuries to Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater.

Tagovailoa has been out since suffering a concussion in a Week 16 loss to Green Bay. Bridgewater, who started in last week’s loss to New England, injured the pinky finger on his throwing hand and couldn’t finish the game.

Coach Mike McDaniel has not named a starter for Sunday’s pivotal regular-season finale, in which the Dolphins could make the playoffs with a win over the New York Jets. Miami would also need New England to lose to Buffalo.

COMMANDERS: Sam Howell is expected to start at quarterback for Washington in its season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, with the rookie set to make his NFL debut.

Coach Ron Rivera confirmed he opted to go with Howell after initially considering giving Taylor Heinicke the nod and changing his mind after talking to players and members of his staff. Washington was eliminated from playoff contention after Carson Wentz threw three interceptions in a loss to Cleveland and Green Bay beat Minnesota last week.

CARDINALS: Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray said he had knee surgery to repair an ACL injury that he suffered against the New England Patriots on Dec. 12.


Murray posted a picture of himself laying in a hospital bed with the message: “ACL surgery was successful, thank you for all the love and prayers. I appreciate the support and positivity more than I can express, I’ll be back.”

Murray was injured on the team’s first offensive drive in the 27-13 loss to the Patriots. The two-time Pro Bowl selection was flushed out of the pocket and running to his right when he tried to juke past a Patriots defender, but tumbled to the grass in obvious pain.

RAVENS: Lamar Jackson remained absent from the portion of practice open to reporters.

Baltimore’s star quarterback hasn’t practiced since injuring his knee Dec. 4 in the Ravens’ victory over Denver. He’s missed four games since.

Baltimore’s final scheduled game of the regular season is at Cincinnati, and the Ravens (10-6) have already clinched a playoff berth. Tyler Huntley has started the four games in Jackson’s place, with Baltimore winning two.

The Ravens are coming off a 16-13 loss to Pittsburgh in which Huntley completed 14 of 21 passes but threw for only 130 yards.

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