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Bears will team Mitch Trubisky with 1st-stringers, but he won’t start

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky prepares for a preseason game. (Getty)

Mitch Trubisky will start the second half Sunday against the Titans and, for the first time in a preseason game, play alongside first-teamers.

Coach John Fox made the announcement Wednesday after the Bears gave the rookie work with first-team offense in practice for the first time.

The coach maintained that Mike Glennon is still the starter and the Bears’ depth chart remains unchanged. However, teaming the rookie with starters, even for only a drive, is the surest sign yet that Trubisky has made progress in the Bears’ quarterback derby.

“I think I’ve progressed faster than they expected I would,” Trubisky said, “but I’ve still got a long ways to go and I know that.”

Fox called Glennon the starter “right now,” and said he was being treated as such by playing the first half. Glennon said it was “clear to me that nothing has changed as far as the depth chart,” and said Trubisky would get one series with the starters.

“This was something we talked about and planned a long time ago,” Fox said.. “This is really our last opportunity to get a look at him with the ones. We can’t dictate exactly what Tennessee does with their defense but in that second half, to start the third quarter, many people leave their starters in. So we’re kind of hoping that that’s what happens.”

Pressed about whether the Bears had a quarterback competition, Fox was characteristically vague to the assembled media.

“Well, I’d answer that but you guys’d run with it somehow,” he said. “So I’ll just not answer it.”

Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains told Trubisky late Tuesday night.

“I was excited, but it shouldn’t make a difference how I approach things,” Trubisky said. “You always prepare like you’re the starter and always support your teammates and whatever group you’re in you just continue to make them better and get yourself better.Yeah, it’s all about reps like I’ve been saying. The more I can get the better I should have a feel for things. Whatever group I’m with, just go out there, lead and show them what I can do.”

Trubisky entered the first game with about two minutes left in the first half, and the second game with about two minutes left in the third quarter. His performance was better than Glennon’s, albeit against inferior competition. Over two games, Trubisky went 24-for-33 for 226 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 111.4.

Glennon went 15-for-26 for 109 yards, one score, two picks — one returned for a touchdown, the other in the red zone — and a 48.4 passer rating.

Glennon said he’d “be lying” if he said it didn’t add to his challenge.

“That’s kind of what I mentally prepared myself for going into this, having gone through a situation with a high draft pick (in Tampa),” he said.” I tried to play out, not worry abou, but prepare myself for the situation in my mind.”