Quarterback Mitch Trubisky would have played Thursday night against the Bills if he could. Coach Matt Nagy, of course, was never going to let that happen. He sat Trubisky last Saturday for the Bears’ preseason game against the Chiefs, setting off a firestorm of criticism.
“For me, just being the competitor, I was always ready to play,” Trubisky said earlier this week. “I wanted to play and get those reps [against the Chiefs], but we’ve gotten a ton of reps in practice. And we’re just going to continue to get ready for Week 1. It is what it is, and we’re just continuing to build chemistry on offense and moving forward and rolling as a team.”
Trubisky respected his coach’s decision. He also was never going to play in the Bears’ fifth and final preseason game this year against the Bills. Trubisky then put in some extra work before the game. He threw to receivers Allen Robinson, Kevin White, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller and tight end Trey Burton well after an early team warm-up period concluded.
Trubisky also took part in the Bears’ usual pregame routine in full equipment, but the Bears kept him and his aforementioned top targets on the sideline against the Bills.
Nagy began his preparations for the Packers on Monday.
“The season is right around the corner, so [I’m] excited just to get to that part of it,” Trubisky also said earlier this week. “We’re going to have a bunch of stuff dialed up ready to go, so it’s been an exciting process. I just appreciate how detailed [Nagy] is and how there’s really no stone left unturned with him just going through details.”
Other healthy offensive players who didn’t play included: running backs Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard and Benny Cunningham, linemen Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair, Charles Leno Jr., Bobby Massie and Eric Kush, tight ends Trey Burton and Dion Sims and receiver Josh Bellamy.
Rookie receiver Javon Wims, one of the Bears’ best players this preseason, played on special teams, but he didn’t start with quarterback Tyler Bray. Tight end Adam Shaheen (foot and ankle sprains) didn’t participate in any pregame warmups.
The Bears’ best defensive players also sat out: inside linebackers Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski, outside linebackers Leonard Floyd, Sam Acho and Aaron Lynch, defensive linemen Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman Jonathan Bullard and Roy Robertson-Harris cornerbacks Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller and Sherrick McManis, safeties Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson and nickel backs Bryce Callahan and Cre’Von LeBlanc.
The Bears have limited Smith because of his tweaked hamstring. But Smith took part in the Bears’ full-team pregame routine. He called the “plays” for the Bears’ defensive reserves.