Followers of both the Jets and Bears didn't see today's QB matchup at MetLife Stadium coming a week ago.
Last week Zach Wilson was warming up as the Jets' starting quarterback at Gillette Stadium. The Wednesday following the 10-3 loss to the Patriots, head coach Robert Saleh announced the QB switch to Mike White, who's warming up this morning along with Joe Flacco for the Jets-Bears 1 p.m. ET kickoff. Wilson is inactive for this game.
Last week Justin Fields was warming up as the Bears' starter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Fields, competing with Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen as the top running QB and one of the top runners, period, in the NFL, ended that game with a painful injury to his left, non-throwing, shoulder.
Fields at midweek described his injury as a separated shoulder. He was listed as limited at all three Chicago practices and questionable for the Jets and HC Matt Eberflus declined to lean one way or the other on his availability for the game, saying his availability would be a game-time decision. Fields' backup is former Jet Trevor Siemian, and Nate Peterman was elevated from the Bears practice squad to be available at QB on Saturday.
Fields was listed as inactive by the Bears when they released their 11:30 a.m. inactive list. Siemian was expected to get the start, but NFL reporter Adam Schefter tweeted that Siemian "hurt his oblique during warmups." Schefter says the Chicago starter is now expected to be Peterman, with Siemian serving as the backup and RB David Montgomery in the role of emergency signal-caller.
See the players arriving for the Week 12 home game.
Health seems to be in White's favor, both his own and for some key players around him. WR Corey Davis (knee) is set to rejoin the Jets' WR group today. Also, rookie Max Mitchell, who started the first four games at RT, then spent the next five games on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, has been activated from IR and is active today. And Nate Herbig, a six-game starter at RG who was a late scratch (calf) for the Patriots, practiced this week and is active as well.
At RB, rookie Zonovan "Bam" Knight is active and could make his Jets debut after RB James Robinson was deactivated.
However, TE Kenny Yeboah (calf) was declared doubtful for the game Friday and is inactive. And for the defense, DL Sheldon Rankins (elbow) is inactive, although DL Tanzel Smart, who flashed a few times at New England, and LB Chazz Surratt have been elevated from the practice squad.
For the Bears, they already placed starting tailback RB Khalil Herbert on IR two weeks ago. And on the defensive side of the ball, two rookie starting DBs are inactive — CB Kyler Gordon and S Jaquan Brisker, both in the NFL's concussion protocol.
This is the Jets' seven-player inactive list for today's game, with the Bears' list to be posted as soon as it's available:
- QB Zach Wilson
- WR Jeff Smith
- S Tony Adams
- RB James Robinson
- CB Bryce Hall
- TE Kenny Yeboah
- DL Sheldon Rankins
And this is the Bears' seven-man inactive list:
- QB Justin Fields
- CB Kyler Gordon
- WR N'Keal Harry
- S Jaquan Brisker
- LB Sterling Weatherford
- G Ja'Tyre Carter
- T Alex Leatherwood