LAKE FOREST, Ill. — While their continuing growing offense and dynamic defense have been key to their breakthrough season in 2018, there is another fact that has helped them to the top of the NFC North.
That’s their lack of serious injuries, or even minor ones. Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson missed a pair of games, but each has returned to the lineup. Last week, only one player was officially ruled out because of injury before the Bears beat the Vikings on Sunday night to go to 7-3 on the season.
But on one of the shortest weeks of preparation in team history, the team may have caught a bad break when it comes to their quarterback.
On Tuesday, Matt Nagy told reporters that Mitchell Trubisky will likely miss practice on Tuesday as he continues to deal with a right shoulder injury as the Bears prepare for the Lions on Thanksgiving morning at Ford Field in Detroit. He said that the quarterback is “day-to-day” with the ailment, which puts his status in jeopardy considering the lack of preparation time for the game.
The injury first popped up on an injury report put out by the Bears on Monday. Despite the team not holding a practice, the limited time between games requires that the team release a theoretical injury report, and Trubisky was put on that list.
“This to me is going to be similar, cautiously being the same way as we were with Khalil and with Allen,” said Nagy of Trubisky, referring to the injuries to the two standouts in which the Bears evaluated their status without a set timeline of return. “Just trying to figure out exactly where he’s at and how he feels, and what’s best for him and the team.”
Nagy confirmed what many had thought about the injury – that it occurred late in the fourth quarter on a hit by Harrison Smith on a quarterback scramble by Trubisky. The Vikings’ defensive back was penalized 15 yards for a late hit, and the pain from the collision continued after the game and into Monday for the quarterback
If he can’t go, backup Chase Daniel would get the start against the Lions. It would be his first since December 28, 2014 while as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, and would be just the third of his NFL career. Daniel has only attempted three passes in a regular season game since the start of the 2015 season, and has only seen the field this year on a few special formations.
While holding out hope that Trubisky can play, the short week means Nagy can’t mess around with a lengthy wait for the quarterback to heal for Thursday.
“I’m saying cautiously optimistic, but I can’t make any promises,” said Nagy of Trubisky’s status for Thursday. “I hope he does, but it’s at a ‘day-to-day’ thing for us. He wants to play, I know that. But we’ve got to make sure, in these situations, that we’re doing the right thing.”
In his second season, Trubisky has thrown for 2,469 yards with 20 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions, and has been a big reason the Bears have jumped out to the 7-3 start. Now it appears they may have to go without him as their pursuit of an NFC North title makes its way to Detroit.