Mitchell Trubisky

Mitchell Trubisky “Can See” Bears Return

Reigning NVP Mitchell Trubisky is slated for free agency. However, the quarterback says he “can see” a scenario in which he returns to the Bears (via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com).

I think I can definitely see myself back here next year,” Trubisky said. “Obviously, a lot of that is out of my control, but it feels like home and it feels like we have unfinished business. Right now, I’m just bummed about this season being over and how the game went. So, a lot of emotions going on right now, but I can see that. We’ll see. There are a lot of things that have to happen and a lot of decisions that have to be made and that’s out of my control, but I can see that.”

Trubisky, a hit with the ages 6-12 demo, lost his starting job to Nick Foles early in the season. He returned to the starting lineup in Week 12 and helped the Bears to wins over the Texans, Vikings, and Jaguars. However, it was all downhill after that, and Sunday’s loss to the Saints could mark his final game with Chicago.

Despite it all, Trubisky remains confident in his abilities.

I feel like I got better [after the benching],” Trubisky said. “I feel like I got better this year. I feel like when I was put back in the starting lineup that the offense was better and I gave my team a chance to win, and we did win games, and that is why we were able to get back into the playoffs. It wasn’t just me, but it was the whole unit coming together and the whole team making plays and really getting through that adversity together. But I feel like I was a big part of that.

So there are some good things that we did toward the end of the season that helped put us in position to be able to play here tonight, but that’s now how we want to finish…I think we have some pieces, but there is a lot more that we need to do better, and we need to figure that out.”

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Bears To Retain HC Matt Nagy?

Over the past few weeks, it was looking increasingly likely that Bears head coach Matt Nagy would be fired at season’s end. But after a six-game losing streak that appeared to dash the club’s playoff hopes, Chicago has won two in a row and suddenly controls its own destiny in its push for a wildcard berth.

As such, multiple sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that the Bears are expected to retain Nagy in 2021 (Twitter link). If his team defeats the 1-13 Jaguars today, Nagy will have secured at least eight wins in each of his three seasons in the Windy City, and that may be enough for ownership to keep him around for another year.

Obviously, a loss to the tanking Jags would be a major blow to Nagy’s prospects, but it currently sounds as if he will be safe if the Bears beat Jacksonville, regardless of what happens against the NFC-leading Packers next week. Assuming that’s the case, it will be interesting to see what the club does with GM Ryan Pace, who was also said to be facing an uncertain future in Chicago. After all, a new GM may or may not want to be married to Nagy, so if Nagy stays, Pace might stay as well.

Part of the reason for Nagy’s changing fortunes is the improved play of QB Mitch Trubisky. Since Trubisky was reinserted into the starting lineup four games ago, the Bears are averaging 31 points per game, and the former No. 2 overall pick looks more comfortable and confident. Nagy has employed more play action passes to help his young signal-caller, and Trubisky has completed 68% of his passes for eight TDs against just three interceptions.

Some NFL executives tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that the Bears have to consider re-signing Trubisky, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency at season’s end since the club declined his fifth-year option earlier this year. A Trubisky re-up would validate both Nagy and Pace, and though it was difficult to imagine a month ago, it’s possible that all three men will be back with the Bears in 2021.

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Nick Foles Back At Practice; Mitchell Trubisky Remains Bears’ Starter

Mitchell Trubisky appears to officially have regained his job, for now. Nick Foles returned to Bears practice Wednesday, but Matt Nagy said Trubisky will start Sunday against the Lions.

The Bears started Trubisky in Week 12, but Foles was inactive due to the hip injury that knocked him out of Chicago’s previous game. Foles practicing but being set to play behind Trubisky is a course change for the Bears, who have seen their season take a wrong turn.

Nagy yanked Trubisky in Week 3, and Foles provided a spark in a comeback win in Atlanta. Chicago then improved to 5-1 after two more Foles-directed victories. But the Bears have since become the first post-merger team to follow a 5-1 start with five straight losses. While the 5-6 team remains in the playoff race, it enters Week 13 ranked 31st in total offense. Foles is 29th in QBR.

Trubisky did not play well against the Packers but did guide a comeback win over the Lions in Week 1. Against Detroit in his career, Trubisky has a 14-4 TD-INT ratio. He has not lost to the Lions since 2017. This certainly might not be the final quarterback change of Chicago’s season, but for now, the Bears are giving the former No. 2 overall pick and 2021 free agent-to-be another shot.

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Bears To Start Mitchell Trubisky In Week 12

Mitchell Trubisky will receive another chance. The Bears are turning back to their initial 2020 starter against the Packers, Matt Nagy announced Friday.

Nick Foles is battling a hip injury but has struggled after enjoying brief success upon replacing Trubisky earlier this season. The Bears have lost four straight and rank 31st in both points and total yards after 10 games. Foles has not practiced this week.

The Bears lost Trubisky to injury as well, but the former No. 2 overall pick has recovered and will attempt to mount one last contract-year push ahead of a potential free agency bid. Chicago used Tyler Bray as Foles’ backup while Trubisky sat. Despite being a 2013 UDFA, Bray had one career pass attempt going into that ill-fated relief effort. Trubisky, 26, will return to a stat line that includes a career-low 59.3% completion rate and a 6.5 yards-per-attempt figure. He ended last season at 6.1.

Trubisky’s return to action illustrates how dire the Bears’ offensive situation has become. Nagy benched the fourth-year starter in Week 3, and Foles led a comeback victory over the collapse-prone Falcons. Trubisky struggled against Atlanta, continuing a swoon that prompted the Bears to pass on his fifth-year option in May. Trubisky regressed across the board last season, and the Bears traded for Foles. The latter, however, ranks 28th in Total QBR. Nagy handed off the play-calling reins to OC Bill Lazor in Week 10, but the Bears accomplished little on offense in a loss to the Vikings.

All of this has resulted in the Bears continuing to largely waste the work of their top-tier defense — a familiar refrain in Chicago. The Bears’ losing streak has moved them to the “In the hunt” sector of NFC playoff picture graphics.

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Injury Notes: Stafford, Bridgewater, Bears

Matthew Stafford is dealing with a hand injury, but there’s hope the ailment won’t sideline the veteran. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Lions quarterback suffered a “partial tear in a ligament in the thumb on his throwing hand.”

The team will evaluate Stafford’s ability to throw the ball throughout the week, but it’s expected that Stafford will ultimately be in uniform on Sunday against the Panthers.

2019 aside, Stafford has been remarkably durable throughout his NFL career. Prior to his season-ending injury last season, Stafford had appeared in 136 consecutive regular season contests, the sixth-longest mark in NFL history. The 32-year-old has had a solid comeback season for the 4-5-0 Lions, completing 63.7-percent of his passes for 2,403 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

If Stafford were to miss any time, the Lions would likely turn to backups Chase Daniel or David Blough.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the league…

  • Speaking of Lions/Panthers, Teddy Bridgewater‘s MCL sprain “is consider minor,” according to Pelissero (via Twitter). The Panthers quarterback is expected to practice on a limited basis at tomorrow’s practice, and as the reporter notes, head coach Matt Rhule had previously expressed optimism that Bridgewater will play against the Lions. Bridgewater suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of his team’s loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
  • Despite being carted off the field yesterday, Bears quarterback Nick Foles could be available following his team’s bye. While the veteran is dealing with both hip and glute injuries, coach Matt Nagy said Foles should be alright. “It wasn’t as bad as we once thought,” Nagy said (via Gene Chamberlain of the Associated Press). “He’ll be working through that here as we go, keeping an eye on that, kind of day to day.”
  • While Foles could play against the Packers in two weeks, Nagy wasn’t so confident that backup Mitch Trubisky will be in uniform. “I think there’s a possibility, but I don’t know that for sure,” Nagy said. “I think it’s going to be day by day. I don’t know if he knows that. So we’ll just keep an eye on that.” The former second-overall pick has seen only one snap since Week 3.

Nick Foles Named Bears Starter

Not that it’s too surprising, but now it’s official. Nick Foles will be the Bears’ starting quarterback for their Week 4 matchup with the Colts, head coach Matt Nagy announced Monday. Nagy went on to say this wasn’t just a temporary move, and that Foles would be the starter “moving forward.”

Foles came on in relief of Mitchell Trubisky Sunday, and led an improbable comeback over the Falcons to improve Chicago to 3-0. Foles was traded from Jacksonville this offseason, and lost the abridged training camp battle to Trubisky. Everyone figured Trubisky would be on a short leash, but after the Bears started 2-0 he had appeared to have bought himself some time.

Despite Trubisky’s heroics in a Week 1 comeback of his own, internally he clearly never had too much support. Buzz about a fourth-year leap was premature, and the UNC product will now hit the bench. In his first start with his new team Foles will be going up against Frank Reich, who helped guide him to a Super Bowl victory as his offensive coordinator with the Eagles.

Given that Foles has a somewhat lengthy injury history and is always capable of being ineffective himself, it’s quite possible we see Trubisky back under center before too long. It’s also quite possible that Trubisky, who had his fifth-year option declined back in May and will be a free agent at the end of the year, has thrown his last pass in a Bears uniform.

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Bears Bench Mitchell Trubisky For Nick Foles

The move many predicted would inevitably happen came in Week 3, as the Bears benched Mitchell Trubisky in favor of Nick Foles. Even though the thought coming into the season was that Trubisky would be on a short leash, it was still a bit of a surprise considering Chicago had started 2-0.

Foles promptly led the team on a huge comeback, as the Bears beat the Falcons 30-26 after trailing 26-10 late in the fourth quarter. He finished his 2020 debut 16/29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Trubisky was 13/21 for 128 yards and a touchdown and no turnovers, so it’s not like there was any one specific moment that led to his benching.

After Trubisky led his own furious rally in Week 1 against the Lions there was a lot of talk that he had made a fourth-year leap, but obviously head coach Matt Nagy didn’t feel that way internally. Nagy insisted after the game that he just wanted to enjoy the win and didn’t know who his quarterback would be in Week 4, but it would be pretty shocking to see them go back to Trubisky now after making the switch.

It’s not too often you see a 3-0 team with quarterback drama, and it’ll be very interesting to see what happens moving forward. Chicago of course traded for Foles from Jacksonville this offseason, but Trubs won the training camp battle. The Bears declined his fifth-year option back in May, so Trubisky will be a free agent at the end of the year.

If Foles takes the job and runs with it, it’s possible we’ve seen the former second overall pick throw his last pass with Chicago. That being said, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Foles is banged up or ineffective and Trubisky is back out there within a couple of weeks. Buckle up.

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Bears Expected To Start Mitchell Trubisky

Despite Nick Foles‘ superior NFL resume, the Bears are likely to start the season without a change at quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky is expected to start Chicago’s Week 1 game in Detroit after beating out Foles in a training camp competition, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

This comes after a recent report indicated Foles was the more accurate passer during Bears camp, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (video link). But Trubisky was also reported to be improving. The Bears will give the former No. 2 overall pick another shot, despite not picking up his fifth-year option and trading for Foles this offseason.

Trubisky has been one of the NFL’s more maligned players over the course of his Chicago tenure. While he rated as QBR’s No. 3 passer in 2018 — when the Bears made a surprise run to the NFC North title — Trubisky regressed considerably in 2019. The former one-year North Carolina starter ranked 28th in QBR last season and averaged just 5.9 adjusted yards per attempt, prompting the Bears to acquire Foles from the Jaguars.

Foles, 31, did not fare particularly well last season either. After a broken collarbone sidelined him for much of his Jaguars debut/one-and-done season, Gardner Minshew supplanted him shortly after he returned to action. However, Foles orchestrated one of the best playoff stretches by a quarterback in NFL history in 2017, winning Super Bowl LII MVP honors. He then helped the Eagles back to the playoffs the following season, after replacing an injured Carson Wentz late in 2018. Foles’ Eagles beat Trubisky’s Bears in a wild-card game, though that contest is better known for Cody Parkey‘s game-ending missed field goal.

The Bears reworked Foles’ contract this offseason, but the veteran passer would still be a costly cut in 2021. A Foles release would not create any cap space for the Bears, and it would cost more than $10MM. But Trubisky is not under contract in 2021. He will, however, have a chance to bounce back in a contract year — at least at the season’s outset.

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Bears Will Not Name Starting QB Prior To Week 1

One of the league’s premier position battles will not be settled, at least publicly, until the Bears suit up for their regular-season opener.

Matt Nagy said Saturday he will not declare whether Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles has won the job prior to the Bears’ Week 1 game. The Bears will travel to Detroit for their 2020 opener.

Ordinarily, a team featuring a quarterback competition would name a starter by the time its third preseason game comes. With the COVID-19 pandemic prompting the NFL to scrap the preseason slate, the Bears will attempt to keep their decision in-house. Though, the clubhouse leader here will stand to see more reps than the likely QB2 in the coming days.

The Bears acquired Foles from the Jaguars to push Trubisky, who has not worked out to the team’s liking. The Bears passed on Trubisky’s fifth-year option in May.

Foles, 31, is also coming off a down year, suffering a broken collarbone in Week 1 and being replaced by sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew shortly after he recovered from the injury. Foles, however, has a significant experience edge on Trubisky, who dropped from third in QBR in 2018 to 28th last season. While Foles has not shown much outside of Philadelphia, his two late-season runs with the Eagles — involving a Super Bowl LII MVP award and a wild-card win over the Bears a year later — certainly dwarf Trubisky’s accomplishments.

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Bears To Play Both QBs In Preseason

The Bears will give significant reps to both Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky in the preseason, head coach Matt Nagy says (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). It’ll be a full-blown quarterback competition in Chicago, one that will have major implications for Trubisky’s future with the team.

The Bears turned down Trubisky’s fifth-year option earlier this month, putting the former No. 2 overall pick on course for free agency after the 2020 season. The option would have been guaranteed for injury only, but it was a risk the Bears weren’t willing to take. Trubisky finished 2019 with one of the lowest QBRs in the entire league, a step back from his Pro Bowl (alternate) campaign in 2018.

The Bears aren’t ready to give up on him just yet, but they did safeguard the position by trading for Foles, one of the league’s most coveted free agents of 2019. Foles’ first and only season in Jacksonville was derailed by injury and he’s got extra incentive to deliver in Chicago. If the veteran meets certain performance thresholds, he can void his deal early and cash in all over again.

Foles went 0-4 in his 2019 starts, completing 65.8% of his throws for 736 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Before that, he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl ring in the 2017 season and turned in more memorable moments for the Birds in 2018. With the Bears, Foles will have the opportunity to reclaim his status as one of the league’s greatest clutch performers. But, first, he’ll have to duke it out with Trubisky.