Bears

Matt Nagy knew about Mitch Trubisky's hip injury, but 'it wasn’t significant enough to not play'

Matt Nagy knew about Mitch Trubisky's hip injury, but 'it wasn’t significant enough to not play'

Mitch Trubisky is the Bears starting quarterback. He was not benched for poor play against the Rams. He has a hip pointer. And the Bears do not know/aren’t saying whether Trubisky will be sufficiently recovered from his hip pointer to start next Sunday against the New York Giants.

Other questions may continue to swirl around coach Matt Nagy’s handling of Trubisky and the reported hip injury that caused the coach to pull the quarterback late in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ fifth loss in their last six games. And those other questions on Monday contained variations on the Watergate theme of, “What did he know and when did he know it?”

Nagy met the questions head-on, beginning with the injury itself – “[Trubisky] has a right hip pointer. It happened on the sack at the end of the second quarter. He took a knee by [defensive tackle Michael Brockers] right into the hip/lower back.”

And Nagy laid out how he and Bears staff handled the situation, start to finish, including preparing backup quarterback Chase Daniel to replace Trubisky if needed, which he was.

“I knew about it; I knew [Trubisky] had a hip deal but it wasn’t significant enough to not play,” Nagy said. “But over time the stiffness got to a point where he really wasn’t able to sit on the bleachers, on the bench.

“That’s when I became aware of it and kept an eye on him for about a series and a half. Even before [the Rams] scored the touchdown to go up 10, we had already made the decision that we were going to go with Chase.”

Nagy and Trubisky put their heads close together in the discussion that led to the quarterback being pulled, before which neither TV cameras nor sideline reporters provided information on Daniel warming up. But Nagy, who said that he went directly at Trubisky with questions about his viability to continue playing, also said that Daniel had, including taking snaps with center Cody Whitehair.

Despite the injury to his quarterback, Nagy made an ill-advised call of an option to the short side of the field on a third-and-one in the second half. The call Nagy said he would do differently, but said that the play was before the hip soreness and stiffness had reached the point of impairment.

And there is no thought, either on the part of coach or player, of shutting Trubisky down, for whatever reasons.

“We’ll see where he’s at,” Nagy said. “As we go here the next couple days, we’ll see where he’s at, but [being shut down is] not what he wants and that’s not what we want. We want to keep growing.”

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Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15

Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15

The Bears have completely flipped the narrative of their 2019 season over the last three weeks, thanks in large part to Matt Nagy's offense finally resembling the 202-level that was promised last summer.

It may have taken quarterback Mitch Trubisky a little longer than expected to arrive this year, but if his last two games are an indication of his development in his second season under Nagy's tutelage, the Bears have a bonafide quarterback. And it's been a while since that could be said.

"Mitchell Trubisky is hot, there's no doubt about it," NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms said Thursday. "He seems so much more comfortable. Decisive. He's accurate with the football. Running around at the proper time. I don't think it was all Mitchell Trubisky's fault with the struggles of the offense, either."

Those struggles spanned the first half of 2019 when Chicago seemed incapable of sustaining drives or scoring points. It began with Week 1's three-point output against the Packers and continued through Thanksgiving Day when Trubisky finally got his mojo back, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions.

With Trubisky clicking, and the running game receiving a jolt from rookie David Montgomery's productive back-to-back weeks (in which he's averaged more than four yards per carry in successive games for the first time all year), the Bears appear capable of beating just about anyone. 

They'll need to. If Chicago wants to keep their weak playoff pulse going, they have to win out. And that includes games against the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings. 

The odds seem stacked against them, and it's their own fault. It took way too long to get the offense going, but it's better late than never. 

According to Simms, the Bears are that team no one wants to play.

"They're a dangerous team right now. They really are."

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Bears QB Big Board, 6.0: It's Mitch Trubisky's job to lose

Bears QB Big Board, 6.0: It's Mitch Trubisky's job to lose

Just when it appeared like Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was entering his final half-season as the team's unquestioned starting quarterback, the last month happened.

Trubisky's play has steadily improved over the last five games and reached what may have been his watermark moment in Week 14 against the Cowboys. He completed 74% of his passes for 244 yards and three passing touchdowns while adding a season-high 63 rushing yards and a score on the ground. It marked the second week in a row that Trubisky's completed over 74% of his passes; he connected on 76% of his throws a week earlier against the Lions.

Trubisky's recent success is a far cry from the mentally broken player he was after the first month of the season. He has his confidence back. In fact, he's playing with more confidence than he's ever shown as a pro. His recent success is a direct and obvious result of his evolution between the ears.

The Bears were circled as a team that was likely to be in the quarterback market this offseason because of how terrible Trubisky looked early in 2019. And there's still a chance that GM Ryan Pace will look to add some healthy competition to the roster, but if Trubisky continues to play well, that competition will be for the backup job. 

It's also worth noting that one of the more appealing quarterback targets this offseason probably won't make it to the open market. Titans starter Ryan Tannehill continues to enjoy a remarkable comeback season and appears destined to sign a long-term extension with Tennessee sooner than later. After Tannehill, the discount quarterback rack includes names like Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota, players who a month ago would've been viewed as marked upgrades over Trubisky.

It doesn't feel like that's the case anymore.

Barring a massive regression from Trubisky over the next three games, it's starting to feel like he's winning back Chicago's confidence one game at a time. 

With all that in mind, here's the updated Bears QB Big Board entering Week 15:

Bears QB Big Board (Dec. 12, 2019)

1. Mitch Trubisky (Bears)
previous: 2 (Dec. 3)

2. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
previous: 1 (Dec. 3)

3. Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
previous: 3  (Dec. 3)

4. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
previous: 4 (Dec. 3)

5. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
previous: 5 (Dec. 3)

6. Teddy Bridgewater (Saints)
previous: 6 (Dec. 3)

Outside looking in (list cut down to three)...

-Jake Fromm (Georgia)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

-Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

- Cam Newton (Panthers)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

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