Bears OC Luke Getsy explains play-calling on final drive vs. Falcons

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Getsy explains play-calling on Bears' final drive vs. Falcons originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears' play-calling on the final drive of their 27-24 Week 11 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was questionable and drew immediate criticism. That quarterback Justin Fields was injured on the first play of the drive just added injury to insult.

The Falcons had stymied Chicago's vaunted run game for most of the second half, and the Falcons had been able to corral quarterback Justin Fields on the ground. But with the Bears trailing by three with under two minutes to play, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy opted to open the game-winning/tying drive with a quarterback sweep to the left.

Fields gained 1 yard before he was hit and landed on his left shoulder out of bounds. He suffered a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments on the play. On second-and-9, the Bears called a halfback draw, but a miscommunication led to Fields running the ball up the middle and getting hammered after he slid. On third and-5, Fields overthrew David Montgomery and was picked off, ending the Bears' comeback hopes.

Getsy dialed up the QB sweep on first down because of something he saw earlier in the game, but the Bears didn't execute it properly.

"It’s just like we had a third-and-five early in the game, we called basically the same play, Braxton [Jones] kind of just ran right by the guy, probably 15-, 20-yard gain we left on the table," Getsy said of the QB sweep. "So we called the same thing, and what happened on the first one, Braxton had his eyes outside and let the guy run right through his inside shoulder. Run basically the same play, and now the guy’s on his outside shoulder instead of his inside shoulder. So it went from being like a 10-yard run out of bounds, not get hit, everyone’s happy, to a 2-yard roll out of bounds and fall on your shoulder. It turned into a pretty bad thing pretty quickly."

Getsy called the halfback draw on second down because he knew Fields was dealing with something and wanted to give his quarterback a beat before third down.

"The second one, yeah, because he had the injury we thought, ‘Let’s give him a breather play.’ Let’s just get a draw off and obviously he was in discomfort that he kind of lost sight of what the play was on the whole, so they came back, and they played a soft coverage and he was right — he’s just a little late getting to the check down. Should have got there a little sooner. But he performed the play correctly, just a little bit too late."

RELATED: Schrock: Playing Fields vs. Jets would be act of negligence

On Wednesday, Fields said he suffered a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments. The 23-year-old quarterback is cleared to practice but is listed as day-to-day as the Bears prepare to face the New York Jets in Week 12.

Fields said his pain was "pretty high" on Wednesday, and he "probably" wouldn't be able to play a game that day.

The Bears went through a walk-through Wednesday and planned to try to ramp Fields up during practice Thursday to see how he's progressing.

Fields said he felt pain when handing off and finishing his throws Wednesday. A separated shoulder is an injury that can be shot up and numbed. The decision to play Fields will be a collective effort between the quarterback, the coaching staff, and the medical staff.

If Fields can't play Sunday, backup Trevor Siemian will get the start. Getsy does not yet know who will play against the Jets. He did say that Fields' injury could impact how he calls the game. But that all depends on how Fields feels and what he feels he can do if given the OK on Sunday.

"If any one of our players on our team had any type of issue," Getsy said. "Whether it was medical or the head coach or anybody said we had to work around, we work around it, and if they say he’s good to go, green light, then we’ll rock and roll, and we’re calling it like we always do. We’ve got some time to figure all that stuff out."

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