Bears quarterback Justin Fields was a full participant in practice all week and was not given an injury designation for Sunday's game versus the Lions in Detroit.
As a result, Fields is set to make his first start after missing the last four games with a dislocated right thumb he suffered Oct. 15 in a loss to the Vikings.
"I thought he improved every single day," said coach Matt Eberflus. "You get that timing with the receivers on the concepts you're running that particular week. I thought he got his footwork back where it needed to be. And I thought the accuracy was good, got better as the week went. I thought he was good."
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Fields' return has created a buzz at Halas Hall.
"There's an excitement, no doubt," Eberflus said. "I think that certainly having our starter back is definitely a boost. You could see the defense getting excited about it and talking to him on the side in the building, and certainly the offensive guys were excited about it. You could see it in walkthrough how the energy was there."
No one is more excited about Fields returning than the quarterback himself.
"He's been champing at the bit to play," Eberflus said. "He really tried to play last week [against the Panthers]. It just wasn't there, wasn't ready yet. With that longer break, he's got a chance to really get back in there. You could see for sure that he was always asking the trainers, 'Hey, when I can get back?' We did it right. We worked him back in there. We're excited he's back."
The Bears offense will also benefit from the return of two other key starters: running back Khalil Herbert and right guard Nate Davis.
Eberflus revealed Friday that Herbert will be activated off injured reserve Saturday and play Sunday. The 2021 sixth-round pick from Virginia Tech was a full participant in practice all week after missing the last five games with an ankle injury. Starting the first five contests this year, he rushed for 272 yards on 51 carries and caught 10 passes for 83 yards and one TD.
"Khalil Herbert will be activated tomorrow," Eberflus said. "I'm excited about that. Had a good week of practice. Certainly excited to have him back."
Davis practiced without restrictions all week and was not given an injury designation. He'll make his first start after missing the last four games with an ankle injury he sustained versus the Vikings. With Davis returning, Teven Jenkins will move from right guard to left guard and Lucas Patrick will remain at center.
"Nate's been looking good all week," Eberflus said. "We like that. We like the combination we have at offensive line right now. Looks strong. [He] looks good in there. We certainly are pleased with that, how that progressed during the week."
Fullback Khari Blasingame and cornerback Terell Smith also will return Sunday after practicing in full all week and not being assigned an injury designation.
Three Bears are questionable for the Lions game: Running back D'Onta Foreman (ankle) and linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (knee) and Jack Sanborn (ankle/illness).
Foreman, who performed well during Herbert's absence, was limited in practice all week due to an ankle injury he suffered Nov. 9 against the Panthers.
Edmunds returned to practice on a limited basis Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury that forced him to miss the last two games.
"Thought he looked good," Eberflus said. "He's been moving around. Worked with the trainers earlier in the week. Got him on the grass today. We'll see where it goes. We certainly like where he is right now."
Sanborn, who replaced Edmunds at middle linebacker the past two games after starting at weakside linebacker, did not practice Friday.
"He's sick," Eberflus said. "He wasn't here today, but he's trending in the right direction. We'll see where that goes. We'll know more about that [later] today and tomorrow."
Rookie linebacker Noah Sewell has been ruled out of Sunday's game due to a knee injury he sustained in practice Thursday. Considered week-to-week, the fifth-round pick from Oregon will have to wait to battle his older brother, Lions right tackle Penei Sewell, for the first time on an NFL field.
"It's unfortunate," Eberflus said. "He was excited to play in the game."