LAKE FOREST, IIll. (AP) — It’s been a long way back from a difficult place for Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
After being benched in Week 3, Trubisky will start against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, Bears coach Matt Nagy said Friday.
Trubisky took all the first-team snaps at practice this week but Nagy had stopped just short of designating him the starter, just in case Nick Foles was able to return from a hip and glute injury. But Foles was unable to practice again Friday and Nagy turned to Trubisky.
“He’s worked hard this time that he’s been the backup to be prepared for if and when this time comes, whether it’s through performance or whether it’s through availability or injury with Nick,” Nagy said.
The Bears are trying to end a four-game losing streak, and they’re more focused on that than their long-term future at quarterback.
“As far as next week or following weeks, it’s hard for me to predict that right now,” Nagy said.
Foles is doubtful for the game and Nagy said it’s still possible Foles could be the backup. Tyler Bray is the other option.
Trubisky suffered a right shoulder injury Nov. 1 against New Orleans while he ran on a zone-read, his only play since being benched against Atlanta in Week 3. Foles’ injury occurred on a sack in the fourth quarter of a 19-13 loss to Minnesota on Nov. 16.
Nagy turned to Foles seeking a spark for his team’s offense, and Foles rallied Chicago from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Atlanta after Trubisky was benched. But the Bears are 2-5 with Foles as the starter, averaging 16.7 points per game.
Foles has completed 202 of 311 passes for 1,852 yards with 10 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He has a quarterback rating of 81.0.
Trubisky is 51 of 86 for 560 yards with six touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 87.4.
In his first media interview since the benching, Trubisky called the situation a total surprise, and said he was humbled by the experience as a backup. He’d been starting since Week 5 of his rookie year in 2017.
“I think more than anything I was caught off guard,” Trubisky said. “I think in the beginning of the season I was just starting to build some momentum and then it kind of felt like a blind-side.
“Then I decided to embrace the new role. And the first couple of days it (stunk) being in that role but I was trying to just keep perspective and think long-term.”
Trubisky had led the Bears to wins in their first two games, including a rally from a 17-point deficit in Week 1 against Detroit.
“I want to play in this league a long time and if I want to do that, there’s things I just want to continue to get better at,” Trubisky said. “At that point I just changed my mindset to embrace practice. I was doing my job on the scout team, trying to give the defense a good look, taking a lot of pride into that.
“I did feel during those weeks I got better as a player just testing different throws, leading the offense and seeing a lot of good looks from my defense.”
Trubisky was the second pick of the 2017 draft and the Bears in May declined the fifth-year option on his contract, meaning he is slated to become a free agent after the season.
The Packers have beaten the Bears in four of Trubisky’s five starts.
“They’ve thrown a lot of different stuff over the years, and that’s kinda what we’re expecting,” Trubisky said. “They’re gonna try to confuse us on the back end, get after us up front with their rush and just try to confuse the quarterback and us on offense, play predominantly zone and make us find those windows and throw on time and just be very disciplined in our route running.”
NOTES: Safety Eddie Jackson will be available for the Bears after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. He was reinstated to the roster on Friday. … Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. are questionable after neither could practice Friday. Hicks has a right hamstring injury and hasn’t practiced all week. Leno suffered a toe injury on Wednesday in practice and missed practice Thursday and Friday. … Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling didn’t practice Friday and is listed as questionable. Packers running back/kick returner Tyler Ervin (wrist/ribs), cornerbacks Josh Jackson (concussion) and Kevin King (Achilles), center Corey Linsley (back) and receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (knee) also are questionable.