Bears

Bears QB Big Board, 3.0: NFL Draft may offer best options for long-term starter

Bears QB Big Board, 3.0: NFL Draft may offer best options for long-term starter

Week 11's Sunday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams may have ended the Bears' season, but it did offer at least a glimmer of hope for quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who's now stacked two reasonable games together after what was a miserable stretch of three games after he returned from a shoulder injury.

Sure, he only completed 55.8 percent of his passes against the Rams' stout defense, but that statistic is deceiving. There were several drops by Bears receivers, and Trubisky threw with more confidence and accuracy against Los Angeles than he has at any point this season.

Matt Nagy acknowledged as much with reporters Wednesday at Halas Hall and said the goal is for Trubisky to start Week 12 against the Giants, assuming he recovers in time from the hip pointer he suffered late in Sunday night's second quarter. It was an injury that forced him out of the game for the Bears' final possession and sparked a social-media firestorm about whether Chicago has finally decided to move on from its underwhelming former first-rounder.

But that won't be the case, at least not this season. And the next six games will determine If that will be the case at all. Trubisky has a chance to keep his gig heading into 2020 if he continues stacking positive game after positive game, even if fantasy football players don't see the statistics to back up that claim.

If he doesn't, the Bears will have more than a handful of viable options to replace him. We previously touched on Tennessee's Ryan Tannehill as an appealing Alex Smith-like reclamation project for Nagy's offense next season, assuming the Titans let him test free agency, but the more logical strategy for Pace to focus on is the NFL Draft, where a few first-round worthy prospects could find themselves still on the board when the Bears pick in the second round.

Remember: The Bears currently hold the 46th and 51st picks in Round 2. They could choose to package those picks together in an effort to jump back into the first round if they like a quarterback enough.

Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts will be the biggest beneficiary of Lamar Jackson's (Ravens) incredible season. Hurts is a dynamic dual-threat for the Sooners who right now profiles as a late-first-round guy. He wasn't pegged as that kind of prospect at the start of the season, but his growth under Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has been remarkable. Riley's track record with quarterbacks -- Baker Mayfield (Browns) and Kyler Murray (Cardinals) -- helps, too.

Hurts is completing 73 percent of his passes for 3,039 yards, 28 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He'll eclipse 1,000 rushing yards too (currently at 983) and already has 15 rushing scores.

The Bears haven't had a game-wrecking quarterback like Hurts in the modern era. And with the way the NFL is trending (especially with the deteriorating play of offensive lines), a player who can make something out of nothing like Hurts has proven he can do is a massive asset.

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay released his updated 2020 NFL Draft Big Board on Wednesday and Hurts wasn't among his top 32. Granted, a lot will change between now and April, and Hurts is the kind of prospect who can blow the roof off of Lucas Oil Stadium at the NFL Combine, so his stock will certainly go up.

But as of now, he appears to at least be within reach for Pace. And he's moving up this week's rankings.

Bears' Quarterback Big Board (Nov. 20, 2019)

1. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
previous: 1 (Nov. 12)

2. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
previous: 3 (Nov. 12)

3. Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
previous: 4 (Nov. 12)

4. Nick Foles (Jaguars)
previous: 6 (Nov. 12)

5. Mitch Trubisky 
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 12)

6. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
previous: outside looking in (Nov. 12)

Outside looking in...

- Cam Newton (Panthers)
previous: 2 (Nov. 12)

- Jake Fromm (Georgia)
previous: 5 (Nov. 12)

- Teddy Bridgewater (Saints)
previous: outside looking in

- Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
previous: outside looking in

-Jacob Eason (Washington)
previous: outside looking in

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Javon Wims pretended to be a fan and discussed Week 14 injury with driver

Javon Wims pretended to be a fan and discussed Week 14 injury with driver

Javon Wims left the Bears' Week 14 victory over the Cowboys in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury.

The severity of the injury was unknown at the time, but fortunately, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that it's "nothing major."

Saturday afternoon, Wims posted a rather comical exchange between himself and a car driver (presumably an Uber driver, though that's not confirmed), wherein he discussed his injury as if he was just another fan. 

"Nah he's not too bad," Wims assured the driver, after the driver said he hoped Wims wasn't seriously hurt. "I think he'll be alright... You know, I was at that game, so I saw him walk off. He walked off pretty gingerly, but it looked like he was okay. 

"That kid got a bright future ahead of him, he got all the intangibles," Wims continued. 

The two shared a laugh when Wims revealed his true identity. Wims' status for next week's matchup with the Packers isn't clear at the moment, but it's nice to see him making lemonade out of lemons for the time being.

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NFL fines Lions, Matt Patricia for violating Injury Report Policy before Week 10 game against Bears

NFL fines Lions, Matt Patricia for violating Injury Report Policy before Week 10 game against Bears

The Lions fought admirably in their Thanksgiving day loss to their Bears — even without starting QB Matthew Stafford, who missed the game with a back injury.

With third-stringer David Blough under center, Detroit hung around all game, but were outdone by a late Mitch Trubisky game-winning drive, falling 24-20.

In the moment, Stafford's absence was a surprising development. Now, according to a report by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Lions organization, head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn are all facing fines for not properly updating Stafford's status in advance of the game:

It's insult to injury for a team currently in the basement of the NFC North at 3-8-1. Two victories over the Lions over a span of four weeks helped spark Trubisky and the Bears to the late-season surge they're currently enjoying.

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