CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears are going to give prized rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a try.
The No. 2 overall draft pick from North Carolina will start against the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night after Mike Glennon struggled in the first four games, the team announced Monday morning.
It’s hardly a surprise that the Bears (1-3) will go with Trubisky considering how badly Glennon has struggled. Signed to replace Jay Cutler, he has five interceptions and three lost fumbles. He got picked off twice, lost a fumble on a sack and had another snap ricochet off his knee for a lost fumble in Thursday’s 35-14 loss at Green Bay.
The Bears envisioned this as sort of a redshirt season for Trubisky even though they made a bold move by trading up a spot with San Francisco to grab him on draft night. He started only 13 games at North Carolina and worked primarily out of the shotgun in a spread offense with few similarities to Chicago’s scheme.
He started came third on the depth chart behind Glennon and veteran Mark Sanchez. But with his mobility and arm strength, he progressed quicker than expected. Trubisky sparked a debate over who should start with a strong performance in the preseason opener against Denver, though he was more ordinary in the next three exhibitions.
Glennon played turnover-free ball in a 23-17 season-opening loss to Atlanta and had the Bears threatening for a last-second touchdown, though he struggled for much of the game. Things only got worse for Glennon in a blowout loss at Tampa Bay, and he didn’t play well in a surprising win over Pittsburgh, either.
Having a banged-up offensive line and depleted receiving corps didn’t help. With Cameron Meredith tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason and Kevin White breaking his shoulder in the opener, the Bears are missing their top two targets.
The 49ers have signed wide receiver Max McCaffrey off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, a source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Bay Area.
The NFL Network first reported the 49ers’ move.
The team could place wide receiver Victor Bolden on injured reserve to make roster space for McCaffrey. Bolden sustained an ankle injury in the 49ers’ 26-16 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.
McCaffrey (6 foot 2, 200 pounds) is a second-year player from Duke. He is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and the older brother of former Stanford star and Carolina Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey.
Max McCaffrey appeared in five games this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching one pass for 4 yards.
He originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie and spent time with Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonville before returning to the Packers’ practice squad in October.
Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in 49ers history in his first two starts.
But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s play has not changed how he views the contract situation that must be addressed before the start of the new league year in March.
The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He is under contract only through the end of this season. The 49ers will retain Garoppolo with the franchise tag if the sides are unable to reach agreement on a multi-year deal.
“For me personally, it doesn't impact anything,” Shanahan said. “I thought it was so neat about the situation that I didn't feel that, because of that (franchise) option, that we had to see something here or there, and we had to do all this stuff.
“It's been able for us to just try to do things the right way, put him in when we thought he was ready to, not put any pressure on him where he has to do all this to show something. Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been.”
The 49ers must designate Garoppolo as their franchise player at any point from Feb. 20 to March 6. Last year, the one-year cost for a franchise player at quarterback was $21.268 million.
In leading the 49ers to back-to-back road victories, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards against the Chicago Bears and 334 yards against the Houston Texans. Garoppolo is scheduled to make his first home start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Levi's Stadium.
“We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything,” Shanahan said. “I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about, either.”
Shanahan said he does not anticipate the sides working out a contract extension during the final three weeks of the regular season.